St. Michael the Archangel’s basketball team felt the wrath of Plaquemine’s Louis Conerly once again.
After rallying his team in the fourth quarter against the Warriors last season, Conerly scored a team-high 16 points off the bench to lift the Green Devils to a 42-38 District 6-4A road victory on Tuesday.
“Louis Conerly has done this to me for three years, and it’s been off the bench,” St. Michael coach Drew Hart said. “It’s not like we don’t know who he is. He’s that type of player.”
Guard Essa Badon scored a season-high 20 points in a reserve role, enabling St. Michael’s girls to pull away from Plaquemine 51-38 in a battle of league leaders.
“I told the girls we’re headed in the right direction,” St. Michael girls coach Tami Reynolds-McClure said.
“This was a big win to get at home and now we go to Belaire on Friday and that’s key.”
PLAQUEMINE (boys) 42, ST. MICHAEL 38: There were five lead changes, including three straight during a 90-second stretch of the fourth quarter, when Conerly buried his third 3-pointer for a 37-35 lead.
Conerly and fellow reserve C.J. Young combined to score the final 11 points for Plaquemine (17-5, 2-0) during an 11-5 run over the last 31/2 minutes.
Senior Jacob Evans led St. Michael (19-4, 1-1) with a game-high 20 points, but the Cincinnati signee was whistled for charging against D.J. Marshall with 4.2 seconds left with his team trailing 40-38.
Young, who added 13, made a pair of free throws with 3.1 seconds left.
“Louis and C.J. are starters; we just can’t start seven,” Plaquemine coach Donald Ray Johnson said. “For what we’re about it’s best they come off the bench because there’s no drop off.”
St. Michael opened the game with a 10-0 surge that was capped by Nick Arcement’s 3-pointer with 2:44 left in the first quarter.
Plaquemine countered with a 12-2 run, bridging the first and second quarters, to tie the game for the first time at 12-all on Young’s putback before he nailed a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left for a 21-19 halftime lead.
The Green Devils held a 27-26 edge heading to the fourth quarter after both teams combined to make 2-of-16 shots.
“That’s the best we’ve defended all year,” Hart said. “If we defend like that we’ll win a lot of games a lot easier this year.”
ST. MICHAEL (girls) 51, PLAQUEMINE 38: The Warriors (16-9, 3-0) missed all five of their fourth-quarter shot attempts but compensated at the free-throw line to secure their fifth straight win.
Badon led a parade of four players that combined on 9-of-10 shooting in the last 4:08, stretching a 44-35 lead into a comfortable final margin.
“We have not been going a lot to the free-throw line at all,” Reynolds-McClure said. “To finish out like this was good. “We really hadn’t been in a game like this to finish it out like that.”
St. Michael’s offense made as many 3-pointers (eight) as it did two-point field goals, with the Warriors going 8-of-29 from behind the arc.
Badon made four of those. Tyler Morrison added two 3-pointers and wound up with a double-double —12 points and 10 rebounds.
Kiffani Young’s 13 points and O’Neisha Batiste’s 11 topped Plaquemine (13-13, 2-1).
Badon had 11 of her team-high in the first half with St. Michael establishing a 33-21 halftime lead on Maddie Newchurch’s 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left.
Morrison’s 3-pointer and Jordan Schexnayder’s putback gave the Lady Warriors their largest lead at 40-25 at the 4:31 mark of the third quarter.