LAFAYETTE — St. Thomas More coach Danny Broussard found his Cougars down 28-25 at halftime to Carencro, but he said he wasn’t too concerned, despite a poor effort from his team.
“We weren’t focused in that first half and we didn’t play well, yet we were only down three,” Broussard said. “We gave up way too many transition baskets and when we stopped that, we had a great effort. Then in the fourth quarter, DeVante was DeVante.”
DeVante Benjamin, like he has done so many times this season, took over in the fourth quarter for the Cougars, scoring 13 of his game-high 18 in the final quarter. STM pulled away after the second-half effort to beat Carencro 62-42.
“If you had told me at halftime, we’d win by 20, I’d have said no way,” Broussard said. “But I knew, even though we weren’t playing well (in the first half), if we could come out and just get a lead, we would be fine. Once we got the lead and pulled them out, it was over.”
STM came out of halftime and went on a 10-2 run to take a 35-28 lead. Carencro coach Chris Kovatch said the Bears’ second-half performance was reminiscent of the three previous meetings they’ve had with the Cougars.
“We came out and turned the ball over,” Kovatch said. “Same thing as the other times. You can’t win games if you can’t score. We were inept on offense, and it became our total demise.
“We did have some good moments (this season) and good streaks along the way. We had some definite highs and lows, but we have something we can build on with these young kids coming back. We just have to work harder in the offseason to compete at this level.”
Broussard said Benjamin’s recent string of fourth-quarter performances has him thinking the senior is possessed.
“That kid is playing at a different level, and he just has a way of getting to the basket,” Broussard said. He is so strong and explosive. He is just a special kid.”
Broussard also credited Will Vincent, who had 13 points, as being a major key to the Cougars’ success.
“Will does so much on the defensive end for us that when he gives us offense, it becomes a big key,” Broussard said. “He did a lot of catch and finish ,and I thought he changed a lot of shots defensively. A lot of shots that Carencro normally finishes. It was just an unbelievable second half.”