Christian Kerut spent most of the season playing junior varsity for Country Day.
But the sophomore showed Friday night he is more than capable of stepping up when needed.
After visiting Covenant Christian cut Country Day’s lead to 10 to start the fourth quarter, Kerut buried a 3-pointer that ignited a run and Country Day went on to a 70-45 victory.
“I came in and I wanted to give our team some momentum,” Kerut said. “I just wanted to give out team a kick-start and that 3 really did the trick.”
Kerut’s 3-pointer was the beginning of a 13-0 run to the quarter that helped the Cajuns pull away.
Country Day (22-10), the defending Class 1A champions, advanced to the regional round to play the winner of Friday’s game between St. Martin’s and Block.
It was Country Day’s third win of the season over the Lions, a district foe.
“It’s hard to keep beating a team,” Country Day coach Mike McGuire said. “We rushed some shots and didn’t play good basketball for three quarters then we settled down and pulled away.”
J.C. Younger led Country Day with 20 points, including 18 in the first two quarters that helped the Cajuns build what looked like a comfortable 38-21 lead.
But Covenant Christian outscored Country Day 17-11 in the third quarter to trim it to 49-39 before Kerut’s big bucket.
“Christian has played well,” McGuire said. “We like to insert him when we need a bucket.”
Romin Williams added 19 points for the Cajuns and Michael Corchiani had 8.
Jordan McKay scored 13 to lead the Lions (14-14).
ST. PAUL’S 71, McKINLEY 65: In Covington, Timothy Bedford and Harrison Prieto scored 21 points apiece as the St. Paul’s Wolves won a first-round game.
St. Paul’s led just 46-44 at the end of the third quarter, but used good foul shooting and rebounding to go ahead by as many as 11 points in the final period before holding on for the win.
McKinley was led in scoring Keion Brown’s 21 points while Kyle Woods had 14 for the Panthers.
St. Paul’s (23-7) moves on to play top-seeded Natchitoches Central in the second round while McKinley finishes 21-13 on the season.
KARR 70, LAGRANGE 69: Vincent Phillips scored 23 points and Darren Hulbert had 20 to lead the No. 3 Cougars past No. 30 LaGrange in the Class 4A playoff opener.
Karr (24-8) advances to the regional round to play the Teurlings Catholic- Franklin Parish winner.
SCOTLANDVILLE 87, HAHNVILLE 28: Third-seeded Scotlandville (29-4) broke its Class 5A game open with a 25-2 second-quarter run.
Hahnville (16-16) was 0 of 11 from the field in the second quarter and 4 of 26 in the first half. Scotlandville made 16 of its 21 first-half shots and led 43-10 at halftime.
Ja’Vonte Smart finished with a game-high 20 points, six assists and five assists. Lamarcus Lee added 17 points, while Jordan Adebutu (15) and Garrick Green (10) also scored in double digits for the Hornets.
Christian McKinney led No. 30 Hahnville with nine points, while Fountainette Bradley added seven. Though SHS made eight 3-pointers, defense also was pivotal. The Hornets blocked 16 shots with Green recording seven blocks.
RIVERSIDE ACADEMY 123, SPRINGFIELD 51: The two-time defending 2A state championsknocked down 18 3-pointers in their playoff opener and eclipsed the 100-point mark for the eighth time this season. It was the second most points the Rebels have scored this season, second only to the 130 points scored against St. James. Herb Mcgee led the way with 24 points and Malik Crowfield had 21. The Rebels will play Newman in the regional round. Newman, a No. 16 seed, beat No. 17 Jeanerette 55-51. Jared Butler had 17 , Von Julien 16 and Jordan Andrews 10.