Tuesday night’s game started at Edna Karr and ended at Alice C. Harte Charter School, but it didn’t matter either way for McDonogh 35.
Moisture on the court forced the two teams to switch venues midway through the second quarter, but the Roneagles (16-8, 2-0) pulled away late in the fourth quarter to spoil Karr’s senior night with a 57-48 win in a District 9-4A showdown Tuesday night.
It was the second time McDonogh 35 — the No. 6 in the New Orleans Advocate Boys Super 10 — knocked off No. 2 Karr (16-11, 1-1) this season, but Roneagles coach Kevin Sanders said Tuesday’s win was the one his team wanted the most.
“I don’t know if the game (earlier in the season) meant much of anything, and that’s what I told our guys before the game,” he said. “Once you get in district, and its at home, its a whole different ballgame. I’m just glad we came out on top.”
McDonogh 35 came in with four losses in its past six games, but the Roneagles used a complete performance to get on track.
Roneagles guard Dejon Jarreau, a University of Massachusetts signee, was limited to six points and eight rebounds, but the frontcourt combination of Cardiz Humble and Nakeem Martin helped pick up the slack.
Humble had a career night, finishing with a game-high 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Martin added nine points and 12 rebounds.
“I’ve been looking forward to this game, and coach (Sanders) told me be aggressive and attack the boards,” Humble said. “It’s just a very good feeling right now. This is a big win for us.”
Even though Jarreau couldn’t get himself going offensively, his first field goal of the second half came on a layup with 2:03 left in the game that gave his team a two-point lead and sparked an 8-0 run that put the game away.
Humble’s layup with 1:11 left in the game gave the Roneagles a 53-45 lead and left little time for the Cougars to get back in the game.
Jarreau said having his teammates step up and shoulder most of the scoring load will allow them to grow as a team as they get closer towards the Class 4A playoffs.
“It was a big win because my teammates just stepped up,” he said. “I only scored six points and my team stepped up, so that’s big and it gives them more confidence.”
Both teams went back and forth to begin the first half, but players from both sides had trouble dealing with moisture on the floor, so the coaches agreed to move the game a few blocks over to Alice C. Harte Charter School with 5:17 left in the second quarter.
Karr coach Taurus Howard refused to use the change in venue as an excuse and rather said that his team, which jumped up over the Roneagles to No. 4 in the LHSAA’s most recent power rankings for Class 4A — lost because they failed to match the level of effort McDonogh 35 played with in the closing moments.
Vincent Phillips led the Cougars with 12 points and nine rebounds.
“They outplayed us in those last four or five minutes,” Howard said. “They outrebounded us, and that was the biggest difference in the game. … They turned their level up to a championship level, and that’s why they won the game.”