Why not us! That was the theme for McDonogh 35 heading into the game against fourth-seeded Plaquemine.
The Roneagles (23-12) with some strong play late stunned Plaquemine 39-34 in front of a sellout crowd.
McDonogh 35 moves on to the semifinals to face District 10-4A foe Landry-Walker on Wednesday.
The Roneagles ended the game on a 15-1 run to propel them to victory. Justin King’s four free throws in the final minute sealed the game.
After three quarters of struggling, the Roneagles roared back to take a one point lead. De’Jon Jarreau scored his ninth point to cap an 11-0 run. Back-to-back field goals by Bryson Gresham brought the Ronaeagles within a point with under 3 minutes to play. They didn’t relinquish the lead.
Before Friday’s game Plaquemine coach Donald Ray Johnson said his team was ready for Friday’s game and did not lack confidence. His team didn’t disappoint early. The Green Devils jumped out to a 24-12 halftime lead.
“We play really good defense against everyone,” Johnson said. “We can get scoring from anyone, but defense is where we make our living. Everyone expects us to struggle with their length, but they have to score on us as well.”
The Green Devils (25-7) played a good game for three quarters. They executed to perfection, but came unglued in the fourth quarter. Not only did they yield a big scoring run to the Roneagles, but they mustered only one point.
“We came apart when it counted,” said Johnson. “We needed to play hard the entire game, and we didn’t take care of business. We knew what needed to be done, but couldn’t finish the game strong.”
After halftime the Roneagles went on a 7-0 run to close the deficit to five points after Joseph Foucha buried two consecutive 3-pointers. He finished 3-for-4 from beyond the arc en route to scoring nine points.
“My coach told us never to give up and fight hard to the end,” said Foucha. “I knew my team needed a spark so I did what felt right. Those big shots gave my team the boost they needed. It is what we do. We know how to win.”
Gresham finished with eight points and eight rebounds.
Despite having a significant height advantage over Plaquemine, the Roneagles struggled to get any offense going. They trailed the entire first half and went into halftime down by 12 points.
The Green Devils’ scoring came from a host of contributors including Lewis Conerly’s 9 points. Darwin James contributed eight points and racked up four steals. D. J. Marshall ended his night with sevens points.