The Comeaux Spartans closed their home schedule in style Tuesday night, cruising to a 53-38 victory over District 3-5A foe Barbe.
Barbe (20-11, 7-5), controlled the opening tip, but that was the only thing that went the Bucs way.
Comeaux (21-9, 8-3), came out blazing, taking full advantage of a short-handed Barbe team. The Bucs were without their starting point guard and center. The Spartans made four 3-pointers in the opening period. Using a 20-4 run, Comeaux built a 20-7 lead after the first quarter.
“I thought the kids were fired up. We’d been off for eight days. They were chomping at the bit to play, and they came out energized.” Comeaux coach Jeremy Whittington said about his team’s hot start. “Our kids also really fed off our senior (Chris Ratliff); he’s a kid who just wants to win.”
As hot as the Spartans were in the first quarter, they were just as cold in the second. But Comeaux’s defense held the Bucs in check. The two teams combined to shoot 6 of 23 in the second quarter. Comeaux connect on just 1 of 6 3-pointers.
The Spartans took a 32-15 lead into halftime.
The next two quarters unfolded in a similar manner. Both teams combine to score just 15 points in the third quarter, with Barbe outscoring Comeaux 9-6.
Entering the final quarter, Comeaux held a 14-point lead, 38-24.
Whittington attributed the lack of scoring to cold shooting and also good defense by Barbe.
“The kids started having to work for buckets,” Whittington said. (Barbe) started buckling in on defense. They’re a good team.”
The teams traded baskets in the final period, but in the end, Comeaux’s hot start proved to be too big a mountain for Barbe to climb.
Mike Smith and Fernotay Banks led the Spartans in scoring. Smith scored a game-high 19 points and Banks added 16. The duo was also responsible for Comeaux’s hot start. They combined to score 16 of Comeaux’s 20 first-quarter points. Ratcliff, the team’s only senior, chipped in two points.
Brain Smith led Barbe with 15 points.
Comeaux will travel to Sulphur on Friday for its regular-season finale.
“Tonight’s our 21st victory of the year,” Whittington said. It’s a huge power-point win because it could move us a couple spots. This was a huge night across the state.”
But with the playoffs right around the corner, Whittington said his team will have to improve, especially at the free-throw line.
Comeaux shot just 46 percent from the free-throw line, connecting on only 7 of 15 attempts.
“We’ve got to hammer at 70 percent or better,” Whittington said. “If we’re going to hang with teams, you don’t have a choice.”
The state playoffs will begin next week, with the Top 28 state tournament scheduled for March 8-12 in Lake Charles.