Playing in their final game in a St. Paul’s uniform in front of the home crowd at the Gene Bennett Sports Complex in Covington, seniors Parker Edwards and Devonte Allen simply refused to let their team lose.
Exactly 365 days after falling to Brother Martin in the state quarterfinals, Edwards and Allen combined to score 61 points as the No. 2 Wolves defeated No. 10 Brother Martin 78-66 in the Division I boys basketball state quarterfinals.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” coach Stephen Dale said. “Couldn’t be more excited for the team. The experience that this team has been building these last couple of years has been so important, and when things got tight we stepped up and got the job done.
“Parker and Devonte had fantastic games and really led the way for us. Now this entire team, especially these seniors, are part of school history. They will always be remembers as the first-ever St. Paul’s squad to make it to the state tournament. I just couldn’t be prouder of this entire team, coaching staff, just everybody.”
The Wolves (26-5) advance to take on No. 3 Catholic High-Baton Rouge in Lake Charles. The Bears defeated No. 6 St. Augustine 38-25.
“I’m going to be honest,” said Edwards, who finished with 35 points. “I can’t put it into words. I’m so excited. This is the first time we are headed to the state semifinals in school history. I’m just so excited.”
His senior teammate, Allen finished with 26 points, including four huge 3-pointers.
“It seemed like the entire city was out here to watch us,” Allen said. “We had to put on a show. Credit goes to our entire team for playing their best and now we get to head to Lake Charles. What a terrific feeling.”
Never trailing in the game, the Wolves broke out to a quick 12-4 advantage. Brother Martin (15-12) cut the lead to 15-13 after a pair of made free throws from Tyler Epps, but St. Paul’s immediately responded with a 10-0 run to push the advantage back out to 25-13. The St. Paul’s lead expanded to 35-25 at the end of the first half as Edwards scored the final 10 points of the first half for the Wolves.
The Crusaders kept the game close, cutting the deficit as close as 47-44 with less than two minutes to go in the third quarter. Once again, Edwards got hot for the Wolves, scoring the final 10 points of the quarter again, including a four-point play, to push the advantage back up to double-digits at 57-47 Wolves.
St. Paul’s would never relinquish the lead for the rest of the contest, with the closest Brother Martin cutting the lead to 72-66 with 1:42 remaining in the game after a bucket by Javier Perez.
Sophomore Davonn Moore led the way for Brother Martin with 23 points and Victor Tomlinson had 10 for the Crusaders in a losing effort.