It took them four quarters to do it, but the Karr Cougars finally got a lead and held on to it for the win.
Marc Bowie scored 16 points, Quindell Johnson added 12 more and the Cougars defeated the Hahnville Tigers 47-46 to advance to the second round of the Purple Knight Classic Tuesday morning.
The Cougars trailed until there was only 2:41 remaining, when Myron Green’s free throws moved them ahead. The Tigers eventually had a deficit as big as seven points but made chipped it down to one point.
“Give Hahnville a lot of credit,” Cougars coach Taurus Howard said. “They pushed up on our guards and banged us inside to where we couldn’t get in a rhythm.
"We wanted to put the ball inside but they did a good job of pushing us off our spots so like I said give them credit. We found a way to win again, but we’ve got to get better. We’ve got to take care of the ball at the end of the game, and we’ve got to make free throws.”
Effort was certainly not one of Karr's struggles as it was never down by more than five points. Hahnville coach Yussef Jasmine said that effort was the biggest difference between the teams.
“Games like that are just about effort,” he said. “It’s about who wants it more, especially when it’s a one possession game the whole way. Our effort just wasn’t there to come up with the win.”
Things were close from the beginning as the teams were tied in the first quarter until Ian Arnold’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave Hahnville a 12-9 lead after one quarter. Bowie’s layup with two seconds remaining in the first half pulled the Cougars within three, 25-22, at halftime.
The teams battled in the second half with Hahnville holding the advantage until Green’s free throws put Karr ahead. Bowie gave the Cougars a five-point lead with 58 seconds remaining, and Johnson sank a pair of free throws moments later to make the stretch the lead to 7.
Kendall Pierre’s layup brought the Tigers back within five with 23 seconds. After Bowie increased the lead to seven again, Claudel Harris’s 3-pointer cut the deficit to four for Hahnville with 10 seconds remaining.
After Skylar Perry missed a pair of free throws Pierre made a 3-pointer to make it a one-point game with only 2.6 seconds remaining. Kendell Johnson had a chance to move the lead back to three points but couldn’t sink his two free throw attempts, giving Hahnville one last chance but a half-court shot didn’t have the distance and Karr emerged with the win.