LAFAYETTE — After his squad tried its luck from 3-point range, Lafayette coach Clifton Brown was thankful to see the Lions have a change of heart in the heat of a District 3-5A contest.
The Mighty Lions made five free throws during the final two minutes to help hold off Comeaux on Friday night 45-40 in the district opener for both.
“We settled for too many 3’s, and we didn’t attack,” Brown said. “We hit four or five free throws in the last two minutes. We were fortunate to win.”
With Comeaux holding a 30-29 lead to start the fourth quarter, the Lions’ Jevon Figaro gave his team a leg up with a follow-up dunk after a missed LHS jumper with 7:33 remaining
“We needed something, and that was a boost for us,” Brown said. “But we didn’t take care of the ball, and Comeaux responded.”
The Spartans fell behind by eight, at 38-30, when a free throw from Korleyon Broussard and a seven-point surge by Mike Smith fueled a Spartans charge. Smith scored a couple of baskets in the lane before he hit a 3-pointer to even the score at 38l with 3:35 left.
“We played tremendous on defense but finishing that defense is having the ball in your hands on the defensive rebound,” Comeaux coach Jeremy Whittington said. “When you are coaching a young team, sometimes it’s about doing the small fundamental things that you have to do to win.”
Comeaux guard Jaleel Moore gave the visiting Spartans a solid start in the opening quarter by scoring seven points during the first eight minutes. Neither team gained much of an advantage before the teams headed into halftime. The Spartans’ Smith connected on a runner at the first-half buzzer to give Comeaux a slim 22-21 lead.
“Jaleel is a natural scorer,” Whittington said. “He needed breaks, but he said, ‘forget it.’ He wanted to be on that floor.”
Figaro led all scorers with 20 points. That included a 6-for-9 effort from the free-throw line. Christian Freeman had 12 points for Lafayette, and Corey Davis finished with 10. The Lions improved to 12-3 and 1-0 in District 3-5A.
Smith had 13 points and Moore scored nine for Comeaux. The Spartans fell to 9-7 and 0-1.