LAFAYETTE — Northside boys basketball coach Ross Rix admitted he let his team know about talk of a three-way district tie between Teurlings, St. Martinville and St. Thomas More.
He let his team know they’d been slighted and prepared the Vikings to play the spoiler role Tuesday against Teurlings.
“I let my guys know that people were already making plans and counting us out,” Rix said after his won 53-34 by dominating around the basket. “I don’t know if that played a role in how we played (Tuesday night), but we have talked about being a spoiler.
“The St. Martinville game, we were one or two possessions away. STM, we were one or two possessions away. It’s been like that for a while.”
Teurlings’ Ike Hidalgo hit a bucket to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead. That was the last time the Vikings trailed as they controlled the tempo and , outscored the Rebels 11-2 in the second quarter.
“We’ve had some lows in this district stretch,” Rix said. “We did a much better job protecting the paint tonight. We only gave up two points (in the second quarter), and we have done that a couple times this year. You have to have those type of quarters to win big games.”
Northside’s Jonte Morrison had 13 points, including two big baskets in that second quarter that saw the Vikings defense hold Teurlings without a field goal. Teurlings coach Jake Dueitt said the Vikings didn’t do anything out of the ordinary defensively; they just played with more energy.
“Sometimes, you have a game like this where you just aren’t into it,” Dueitt said. “(Northside) came out with more intensity and they wanted it more. We just have to refocus our kids and get them ready to close out district play strong.”
Cole Kelley led all Rebels with 13 points, but got into early foul trouble, eventually fouling out with 3:23 to go in the game. Rix said his team’s ability to penetrate the three-second lane area allowed them to take good shots from behind the 3-point line.
“It is tough to score in the paint with a layup against Teurlings,” Rix said, “but you still get the ball in the paint and take high-percentage shots. Once we get the ball in the paint, we get better looks around the perimeter and hit those wide-open 3s.”
The Vikings hit six 3-pointers, including two from Brandon Ellis, who led the Vikings with 14 points. Rix said though this may be a down season as far as Northside standards go, he is proud of his team’s ability to keep fighting.
“We’ve had some games where we didn’t shoot it that well,” Rix said. “When the balls goes in the hole, we play with a lot more energy and effort. I knew we were going to get one eventually and tonight was it. This is huge for the psyche of the kids and hopefully tonight is that turning point where we can go on a run here to end the season.”