Slidell's Tyler Harris works through the Purple Knight's defence as the Tigers take on St. Augustine for the closer of the Chalmette Basketball Tournament in Chalmette , La., Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017.

Advocate photo by Shawn Fink

Thanks to Tylor Harris and Kolby Warren, the Chalmette Valero Christmas Classic trophy is headed to the north shore. 

The dynamic junior duo combined for 38 points to lift Slidell to a 60-52 victory over St. Augustine on Saturday night. 

Harris, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, said the school got more than just a trophy though.

He said it helped give the Tigers some respect as well after a three-day run that also included wins over Central Lafourche and Fontainebleau.

"Winning this means a lot," said Harris, who finished with 18 points. "People overlook us. We feel like we are always the underdogs, so we come out with a chip on our shoulders. We are not in the city, so they think we can't ball. But we play tough. We play as a team and play together."

Warren finished with a game-high 20 points, using an array of impressive moves in the paint. He carried the load in the second quarter, when he scored 11 of his team's 15 points

"Kolby is a hard-working kid who has tremendous moves in the post," said Slidell coach Dale Chimento, in his 10th season. "And Tylor never gets tired. He hustles all over the place, and he scores for us and he plays defense. He is a tremendous asset."

Slidell improved to 11-3.

For St. Aug, it was the second straight Saturday it was unable to get its offense on track in a tournament title game. The Purple Knights (9-6) had a similar night in the championship game of the Newman Invitational Tournament against host Newman. In that one, St. Aug had just six points at halftime and just 12 points after the third quarter.

This time, St. Aug didn't make its first basket until 3:50 left in the first quarter, when Brandon Bode knocked down a 3-pointer. Fortunately for the Purple Knights, the Tigers had scored only five points by then. Slidell led by as much as 13-5 in the first quarter before St. Aug finally started getting some shots to fall. St. Aug took its first lead on Quindell Prather's jumper just inside the 3-point line with 32 seconds left in the half. It gave St. Aug a 29-28 halftime lead.

St. Aug's second half started much like the first one, with the Purple Knights having another long scoring drought. After Jalvin Mitchell's basket to start the quarter, St. Aug went five minutes without scoring.

The Tigers took advantage, going on a pivotal 13-0 run that gave them a 41-31 lead that helped put the game away. 

The Purple Knights were trying to play catch-up the rest of the way. They cut it to six (58-52) on Bryson Celestine's layup with 16.9 seconds left and then forced a turnover, but could get no closer.

"We just need to learn how to finish games better," Celestine said. "We start off bad as a team. We have too many mental breakdown and we have to fix that."

Slidell was almost perfect from the free throw line, making 14 of 15.

Harris made all six of his.

"I didn't shoot them well in the CYO Tournament," Harris said. "After that I was in the gym day and night shooting, and I came in confident."

Trey Davis chipped in nine points and Jonathan Merriman had eight for the Tigers.

Devon Jefferson scored a team-high 12 and Damon Landry had 10 for the Purple Knights, who were trying to win the tournament for the second time in four years.

But instead, it was the Tigers winning it.

"We came together after the first two weeks of the season," Chimento said. "I told them we had a chance to be an average team or a really good team, depending on how we practiced. We started focusing more and playing better as a team. The defense plays with intensity."

Warren Easton beat Fontainebleau 59-54 in the third-place game.

Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.