LAFAYETTE — Breaux Bridge senior guard Jasmine Leblanc scored 28 points, leading the Tigers to a 49-41 victory against St. Thomas More in a crucial District 5-4A matchup Friday night.
The win was big for the Breaux Bridge (20-3, 6-0) girls program, which by coach Scott Borel’s memory haven’t beaten St. Thomas More (12-4, 3-1) in his nearly two decades with the Tigers.
“I can’t explain the feeling, really,” Leblanc said. “Coach has always preached to us about beating this team and we’ve come so close, and now we finally did it. It means a lot.”
The Cougars had no answer for Leblanc, who beat them with her strength inside and her shooting touch outside.
Borel said the Tigers focused on getting the ball to Leblanc in good situations where she could score. The Tigers didn’t really have a game plan other than that, Borel said.
“You won’t believe me, but we didn’t really even practice this week, just walk-throughs,” Borel said. “When you have the three players that I have, you don’t really have to game plan too much.”
The Tigers’ first lead didn’t come until the five-minute mark in the fourth quarter, when they completed a comeback behind clutch free-throw shooting and stingy defense.
Caitlin Davis spearheaded the Tigers defense, helping to lock up Cougars freshman guard Megan Abrams in the second half.
“We left (Abrams) out on an island a few times,” St. Thomas More coach Stephen Strojny said. “They were throwing three players at her, and we didn’t handle the pressure very well.”
The Tigers ramped up the pressure in the second half, helping to shut down the Cougars offense, which was rolling early.
Abrams and Allyson Howard had it going early, helping the Cougars build their first-half lead.
Abrams and Howard combined to score 30 points for the Cougars.
But the two were no match for Leblanc, who scored at will despite the constant attention and double-teaming she received from the Cougars.
“I’ve gotten used to it at this point,” Leblanc said. “Pretty much every team we’ve played this season has doubled me, so it’s just something you have to deal with.”
Borel said Leblanc used her athleticism to beat the Cougars at the point of attack.
“We did a good job of stopping her first shot,” Strojny said. “But she always seemed to get back in there and put the second one in.”
The Tigers had 10 offensive rebounds, while Leblanc led the team in total rebounds with 12.
The Cougars will attempt to get their season back on track Tuesday, when they take on Teurlings Catholic, while Breaux Bridge will try to continue its undefeated district run when it takes on Cecillia on the road.