LAKE CHARLES — The Acadiana boys basketball team escaped a trip to Barbe with a 61-59 victory Friday night in a back-and-forth contest to remain unbeaten district play.

The Rams (9-8, 3-0 District 3-5A) overcame major foul trouble in the second half, defeating the Buccaneers (14-8, 2-2) despite committing nine fouls in the third quarter and having two starters foul out in the fourth.

“What a wild and crazy, just great basketball game,” Acadiana coach Nicholas Jeffers said. “It had a playoff-type atmosphere, and we were fortunate to be able to come out on top (Friday night).”

Acadiana junior guard Myles Hutchinson overcame a slow start in which he went scoreless and committed multiple turnovers in the first quarter to lift the Rams to the close victory, hitting the game-winning shot and finishing with 18 points.

“It’s a lot of give and take with a guy like Myles,” Jeffers said. “In the first half, he forced some things and had a few too many turnovers for my liking. But when you need a play down the stretch, I want that guy on my side, absolutely. I definitely wouldn’t want to play against him.”

Despite starting the second half by committing five fouls in less than three minutes, the Rams forced several turnovers in a short span that led to layups on the other end to take a 42-31 lead midway through the third quarter.

But the comfortable lead was short lived, as a 3-pointer by Barbe guard Devante Trahan followed by three consecutive 3-pointers by Damion Martin, including one in which he was fouled and made the ensuing free throw, quickly tied it at 44 less than two minutes later, and the two teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 47.

The Bucs quickly gained control in the final period, scoring the first six points in 50 seconds, but a quick 7-1 run capped off by a Hutchinson dunk tied it at 54.

With just more than 33 seconds remaining and the game tied at 59-59, the Rams got a steal, leading to Hutchinson’s game-winning floater with 15 seconds left. Barbe’s Savon Price attempted a 3-pointer as time expired, but it bounced off the rim, sealing the victory for Acadiana.

“I’ve got a resilient bunch of kids,” Jeffers said. “This is not the first time throughout the course of the season that we have faced adversity. I’m extremely proud of the way our guys responded. Luckily we had enough depth to overcome the foul trouble.”

The Rams will look to continue their undefeated streak in District 3-5A on Tuesday when they return home to take on Sulphur.

“We’re pretty excited about being 3-0, but there’s a lot of games left to play,” Jeffers said. “We have nine more to go. It’s a good feeling, but every single night in this district is going to be a war, and we have to take it one game at a time.”