ARNAUDVILLE — With the help of an experienced backcourt, St. Martinville outlasted Beau Chene 57-48 in a nondistrict game that saw tempers flare Tuesday night.
Senior guards Drapper Anthony and Bradley Savoie combined for 29 points to lead the Tigers.
The Tigers (18-7) hit clutch free throws down the stretch to help to ice the game and keep the Gators (16-5) at arms length.
After hitting the front end of a one-an-one, Anthony turned and put his index finger to his lips to quiet the Beau Chene crowd.
“That’s what seniors are supposed to do — come through in the situations when you need them too,” St. Martinville coach Darrel Mitchell said about Anthony’s clutch shooting.
With 1:42 left, a scoreboard malfunction caused the game to stop and during the delay the teams came together at midcourt and benches cleared as tempers on both sides flared.
Mitchell described the crowd as “very hostile,” and was glad his team handled the pressure like they did.
The Gators stayed in the game throughout, pulling within four points in the final minute but couldn’t get the consistent stops on defense to overcome the Tigers lead.
Beau Chene coach Lorenso Williams said whenever it felt like his team would get close, a call or a bounce would go the Tigers’ way and the game would slip out of the Gators’ fingers.
“All credit to St. Martinville; they are just a really well-coached team,” Williams said. “Both teams played hard tonight, but they just refused to lose.”
The Gators were led by point guard Detraven Guilbeau, who poured in 22 points.
Denzel Austin, the Gators leading scorer this season, struggled throughout, scoring only five points, more than 20 less than his season average.
Williams said Guilbeau got it going early, scoring nine points in the first quarter and was able to keep the hot hand going.
“Some nights guys are just going to have off nights,” Williams said.
“St. Martinville was doing some things to take (Austin) out of his game, and he couldn’t ever get going.”
The presence of the Tigers’ 6-foot-7 center Jevante Walker dissuaded the Gators guards from driving to the bucket in halfcourt sets, forcing the Gators to do the majority of their scoring from the outside.
The Gators don’t have a traditional center on the roster, going with a smaller guard-oriented starting lineup.
“Them having their big guy in their really hurt us,” Williams said. “He kind of dictated some of the things we were and weren’t able to do.”
“This is the first time we’ve lost at home this year, so that shows you how well (St. Martinville) played tonight.”
The Gators return to action against district opponent Opleousas, while the Tigers travel to St. Thomas More for a rematch. The Cougars beat the Tigers on Jan. 13.