LAFAYETTE — After St. Thomas More’s Will Vincent hit the first shot of the fourth quarter Monday night, the Cougars held a 10-point lead over Lafayette Christian.
But the 10-point deficit proved to be no problem for LCA and Kalob Ledoux.
Ledoux scored 10 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter and led the Knights back to a 60-54 win.
“Kalob had a really good game tonight,” LCA coach Byron Starks said. “His mind was focused, and when he comes into the game focused, he is very tough to guard for anybody. He has the caliber to go off at any moment, and tonight he had ice water in his veins.”
STM coach Danny Broussard said he couldn’t remember the last time the Cougars blew a 10-point lead at home. He said the Knights’ pressure was too much for them to handle, something he said they must be able to play through.
“That is a tough one to lose with a 10-point lead,” Broussard said. “We just couldn’t handle the ball against their pressure. We have to learn to be ... tougher, and we have to learn to play through the fouls, even if they aren’t called.”
The Knights were clutch at the end of the fourth quarter, hitting their last six free throws. Starks said — like all teams — he emphasizes the importance of free throws but sometimes the team doesn’t buy in.
“I think it is very important that we win a ballgame like this and the kids see the importance in free throws,” Starks said. “Tonight was a great example to have that in our mind as we move forward.”
The Cougars’ chances were hurt when Vincent got into foul trouble. Vincent had six points and two blocks but picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter and was on the bench for much of the fourth.
Broussard said the loss of Vincent changed the complexion of the game and allowed the Knights to drive the lane freely.
“Will getting in foul trouble hurt us,” Broussard said. “He blocked some shots and changed some of their shots. He played with a lot of energy, and when he got into foul trouble, it changed the game.”
Starks didn’t downplay the significance of the win over STM, saying he had tremendous respect for Broussard and the Cougars program. Starks said down 10 they could have given up, but pulling out the win will help them into the new year.
“It is good for our program to come into a hostile environment with a longstanding tradition and get a win,” Starks said. “For us to come in and win the ball game I think was important. It shows that we never give up.”