St. Louis uses specialty defense to slow Breaux Bridge offense _lowres

Advocate photo by BRAD KEMP Breaux Bridge players Kieandre Davis, left, and Tylar Wiltz, right, chase a loose ball with St. Louis player P.J. Hardy, center, during their high school boys basketball game Tuesday Dec. 22, 2015 at Breaux Bridge High School in Breaux Bridge, La..

BREAUX BRIDGE — St. Louis coach Rick LeBato said he decided to play a diamond-and-one defense on Breaux Bridge’s Ignatius Patt.

Patt hit a few big shots and finished with 20 points, but the diamond-and-one defense caused him fits. St. Louis took advantage and got 20 big points from J.P. Hardy. The Tigers kept it close, but the Saints eventually pulled away for a 63-47 win Tuesday night.

“That is a really good road win for us,” LeBato said. “Breaux Bridge has been playing so well, and we knew we would have to play very well tonight.

“P.J. is having a great year, and he was our floor leader (Tuesday night). He had to handle pressure all night and really did a nice job.”

LeBato said the decision to play diamond-and-one defense on Patt was an obvious one, but at one point he said the Saints went to a normal zone. Patt hit two big 3-pointers, and LeBato said he went back the diamond-and-one defense.

“We decided to go back to our regular zone and (Patt) hit some 30-footers on us,” LeBato said. “He is an unbelievable player.”

Breaux Bridge coach Chad Pourciau said the defense on Patt was what he expected, and the Tigers will have to adjust to that type of defense a lot this season.

“We’ll see a bunch of that because (Patt) can play,” Pourciau said. “We got some big minutes and big points from Tyrick Davis. The other guys weren’t in attack mode, and when you’re not knocking down shots, it’s gong to be a long day.”

Davis added 15 points, but the rest of the Tigers struggled. With the score 45-41 late in the fourth quarter, the game quickly got away from Breaux Bridge when the Saints converted three-point plays on four consecutive possessions. Pourciau said he didn’t have the team ready to play.

“St. Louis really took it to us (Tuesday night),” Pourciau said. “This is two games at home in a row where we haven’t played real well. I didn’t have them prepared like I should have, and we got a little complacent. They tried to grind back late during the game, but it was too late.”