LAFAYETTE — When Lafayette High trailed Captain Shreve in the third quarter and guard Corey Davis was temporarily unavailable due to leg cramps, Jermel Andrus executed a defense to offense transition Friday night.
Andrus’ 3-pointer pulled the Lions even with Captain Shreve before a second 3-pointer by Je’von Figaro gave the Lions the lead for good in their first playoff win since a 2008 Class 5A state title victory over H.L. Bourgeois.
“Jermel is usually a defensive stopper, but that 3- (pointer) was big,” Lafayette coach Clifton Brown said of the game-tying bucket in the Lions’ 59-46 win.
Once the Lions had the lead, Captain Shreve was forced to play catch-up — and their offense against the press suffered at times in the final quarter.
“We turned the ball over, and we started to run into their trap instead of running our trap offense,” Captain Shreve coach Todd Martinez said.
Lafayette gradually built a six-point lead by the end of the third quarter at 38-32 and pushed it to eight when Davis made a layup with 7:04 remaining. The Gators closed to within six at 49-43 when center Tyrone Earls corralled an offensive rebound and canned a pair of free throws with 2:44 left.
However, the Lions kept the lead during the final two minutes by making five free throws, a 3-pointer and capping their scoring on a Christian Freeman dunk. Keith Butler made a 3-pointer for the Gators to account for the final scoring.
“We were a little tight early and (the Gators) played with intensity,” Brown said. “In the second half, we played a combination of man and zone defense, and then when we went to a 1-3-1 defense, they missed some outside shots and had some turnovers.”
Davis, a Louisiana-Lafayette commitment, finished with 27 points, including an 8-of-11 effort from the free-throw line.
“They fought, and we had to fight for every rebound,” Davis said. “I was able to get a little more comfortable (after the cramps).”
Toronco Loston and Earls each scored 14 points for Captain Shreve. Freeman finished with nine points for the Lions, who improved to 26-3 with the win.
“We might have gone a little overboard about using that (a playoff win) as motivation,” Brown said. “Kids know the game, so it was a little pressure.”
The Lions will have a chance to build on that win when they face Parkway on Tuesday. Parkway defeated Central Lafourche, 62-55.
“Hopefully the kids can just relax now and play ball,” Brown said.
“It has been a long time since we had a playoff win.”