NEW IBERIA — St. Thomas More basketball coach Danny Broussard earned his 900th career win Tuesday night as the Cougars defeated Westgate 73-53 on the road in their last game before starting District 4-4A play.
Broussard, who has spent his entire coaching career at St. Thomas More, thanked all of his players, past and present, as well as the Cougars’ fans for making the milestone possible.
“We have great support of parents and kids at STM — and really it’s about them.” Broussard said. “These guys are just tremendous. They work so hard. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
And as much as Broussard enjoyed celebrating the landmark win with his players, fans and family, he said he’s happy he and the Cougars have gotten it out of the way now that district play is around the corner.
“It was nice this win happened when it did,” Broussard said. “I’m glad to get it done with and out of the way, because district will be important, and now we can focus on that.”
The Cougars (18-6) opened with a 10-3 run that forced the Tigers (8-12) to use their first timeout just four minutes into the game.
The break didn’t help Westgate, however, as St. Thomas More’s dominance continued through the first half.
The Cougars opened the second quarter with a five-minute, 14-2 run to gain a 29-11 lead.
Westgate responded with some offense, scoring the next six points, but the Cougars maintained a comfortable 31-17 lead going into halftime.
Early into the second half, it looked as though the Tigers might make a comeback, as they scored seven points in 90 seconds and cut St. Thomas More’s lead to single-digits for the first time since the start of the second quarter.
“We never really put them away,” Broussard said. “We have to start making some free throws in tough times. We have to learn to put teams away a bit earlier, but I’m still proud of our guys.”
The Cougars responded by scoring the next nine points of to take a 42-24 lead and take Westgate out of striking distance.
After the big run, St. Thomas More led by as many as 25 points and never allowed the Tigers to get closer than 14 points.
Broussard said he believes his team has what it takes to ensure Tuesday’s win isn’t the biggest one it celebrates this season.
“The sky’s the limit for this bunch,” Broussard said. “I think we can make a deep playoff run with this team we have.”
Westgate will return to its home gym and look to bounce back Friday night when it takes on New Iberia for its final game before it starts district, while St. Thomas More will return to action Tuesday against Beau Chene in its district opener.