LAFAYETTE — The Westgate boys basketball team fell 76-44 to University High on Thursday night in the Lafayette Christian Academy Showcase Classic in the final game of the night at the LCA Sportsplex.
The Tigers (5-6) scored the game’s first bucket, but immediately after went on a cold streak, not scoring for more than six minutes, which was enough time to let the Cubs (7-0) jump out to a 14-2 lead, and Westgate never recovered.
“We have so many freshmen and sophomores, so we’re young,” Westgate coach Oliver Winston said. “When you play the caliber of team that we played and that we’ve played all year, that’s not a situation where you can get cold and not bring your best performance, and (Thursday night) we just didn’t do a good job.”
Winston stayed positive after the loss, saying it provides another opportunity for his team to learn and grow before district play and, more importantly, the playoffs.
“Every game for us is a learning experience,” Winston said. “Our schedule’s brutal because our schedule’s not designed to have easy games and feel good about ourselves. Our schedule’s designed to get us better each game. This game either gets you better or it exposes you and lets you know you have a lot of work to do.”
U-High senior forward Jalen Johnson led the Cubs with a 22-point, nine-rebound performance while senior and LSU commitment Wayde Sims added 18 points.
Westgate guard Anachack Phomthirath led the Tigers with 16 points.
The Tigers will return to action in Friday’s opening game against Rayne, while U-High will take on tournament host LCA at 7:30 p.m.
“I’m expecting a packed house,” U-High coach Joe Spencer said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s something our team needs to go on the road in a tough environment against a great team.
“(LCA) has so many guys who can score the ball that it makes it tough to defend. … It’s a huge challenge playing them in their own gym with so many different shooters.”
Just before the Day 2 finale, Abbeville recovered from a 43-point loss to Lafayette with a 60-46 win against Hamilton Christian.
Both teams struggled to find a rhythm, scoring eight points apiece in the first quarter.
The Wildcats continued to struggle early in the second quarter when it committed 10 turnovers, but the Warriors only capitalized on a few to take a 17-13 lead.
Abbeville hit its stride late in the second quarter, finish the half on an 11-0 run to take a 24-17 lead into halftime.
HCA missed its first four shots of the fourth quarter while the Wildcats hit their first four to take a 50-34 lead and coast to the victory. Abbeville returns to the Sportsplex for a noon Saturday game against Lake Charles College Prep.
Madison Prep Classic
Northside 48, McKinley 34: Guard Darius Randell scored a game-high 28 points to lead Northside to a 48-34 victory Thursday over McKinley in the Madison Prep Classic tournament.
The Vikings (6-3) advanced to Friday’s semifinal against West Jefferson at 7 p.m.
The game was tied at 13 midway through the second quarter when Northside took control, finishing on a 12-5 run that Randell capped with a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left.
Randell’s three-point play stretched Northside’s lead to 33-22 at the five-minute mark of the third quarter before his 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds left provided the Vikings with a 38-22 advantage.
Jonte Morrison added nine and Brandon Ellis eight for the Vikings, who never allowed McKinley to reach double figures in any quarter.
“I think we’re getting on the right track of putting four quarters together,” Northside coach Ross Rix said.
William Weathers contributed to this report.