BREAUX BRIDGE — With a capacity crowd still roaring from a white-knuckle victory against rival St. Martinville, Breaux Bridge coach Chad Pourciau had trouble getting more than a three-letter word out of his mouth.
“Wow!” Pourciau said, before repeating the word over and over again.
Breaux Bridge (15-7, 1-0) erased a 10-point third-quarter deficit in the blink of an eye, and then held on late as St. Martinville (15-9, 0-1) fought its way back into the game with some clutch 3-pointers in a 64-59 District 5-4A opener.
“It had everything a district game is supposed to have; everything a rivalry is supposed to have,” Pourciau said. “That’s what was fun.”
The homestanding Tigers got the fun started in the third quarter. They only scored 24 points in the first half while St. Martinville built up a big lead on the strength of five 3-pointers, but they ripped off a 23-point third period to take control.
Crucial in that stretch was Tyler Wiltz. Normally a starter, he approached Pourciau earlier in the week about coming off the bench.
“Tyler came into the office earlier this week and he said, ‘Coach, I’m not playing well, I want to come off the bench,’ ” Pourciau said. “How many kids tell you that? That goes to speak about what kind of kid he is. We brought him off the bench and to say he had the energy tonight is an understatement.”
He found his groove in the third quarter, when he scored 10 of his 12 points, the big chunk of which came on back-to-back possessions when he knocked down a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play on a layup to give Breaux Bridge a 47-42 lead.
That lead swelled in the fourth quarter, but St. Martinville roared back to life with three 3-pointers that cut Breaux Bridge’s lead down to two with 48 seconds to go.
Breaux Bridge sealed the game by knocking down crucial free throws down the stretch, though. The homestanding Tigers sank seven free throws in the closing minutes to secure the big win and send the crowd into celebration.
“That was clutch, we work on it all the time,” Pourciau said. “You know we lost two ballgames because we couldn’t make free throws. Against Carencro in double overtime, we missed six straight. Tonight, we needed to hit them, and we did.”
Daniel Lee had 15 points to lead Breaux Bridge. TyQuan Marshall had 14 points to lead St. Martinville.
Tigers, and all 11 of guard Jayvion Mitchell’s points came in the second half for St. Martinville.