ABBEVILLE — “It’s not how you start the game, it’s how you finish it.”
That cliché was on display Monday night when Delcambre overcame a nine-point first-half deficit to edge past Vermilion Catholic 45-37 in nondistrict action.
Abysmal shooting in the first half by both teams led to a 17-9 halftime lead for Vermilion Catholic, but the scoring picked up in the final two quarters.
“They have a big force inside of the paint, so we figured we would have to push the tempo and try to beat them down the court,” Delcambre coach Jason Amedee said. “We were able to do so and capture the momentum in the third quarter.”
Delcambre came out of halftime firing. The Panthers outscored Vermilion Catholic 20-6 in the quarter with 18 of the points coming from the duo of guard Brayton Trahan and center Reese LeBlanc.
LeBlanc’s bucket with 1:10 left in the third gave the Panthers their first lead of the game, and Trahan’s 3-pointer with six seconds left, gave Delcambre a 29-23 lead going into the final quarter.
With 54 seconds left, a Devren Constantine 3-pointer cut the lead to three points, but Delcambre’s ability to hit free throws at the end of the game put the Eagles away.
The Eagles struggled from the free throw, making only 6 of 18 from the charity stripe.
“We weren’t aggressive enough,” Vermilion Catholic coach Roch Charpentier said. “We missed too many opportunities, and gave them too many easy opportunities. We had our chances, but we didn’t take advantage of them.”
Trahan was the game’s top scorer with 26 points — 17 of them coming in the second half. LeBlanc and Chris Borel added eight points apiece for Delcambre. LeBlanc also pulled down 14 rebounds in the win.
“(Trahan) came out in the second half playing inspired,” Amedee said. “Vermilion Catholic came out and knocked us right in our jaw, and luckily we were able to have somebody to take it over and be that quarterback on the court for us.”
Constantine led the way with 14 points for the Eagles (6-7), followed by freshman Tre’vian Lane, who had 10 points with five rebounds and five blocks.
With the win, Delcambre improved to 4-12 on the season, and Amedee said his team took a big step with the win.
“Earlier in the season we were in some close ones and lost them,” he said. “I think it’s big for our future and understanding how to close out games. I’m extremely proud of them.”