The Holy Cross and Belle Chasse boys basketball teams ended the first quarter of their game Friday only five points apart.
With some offensive improvement, the Tigers (7-6), pulled away for a 59-32 over the Cardinals at Holy Cross’ tournament Friday.
Holy Cross coach Mister Kirkwood said his team’s transition points and the turnovers they forced were the difference for his team.
“They created some turnovers, and that was the difference in the game,” Kirkwood said.
Holy Cross’s Xavian McKay led all scorers with 23 while Jarius Legard had nine. McKay scored 12 of his team’s 18 points in the second quarter.
For Belle Chasse (1-11) Jose Ramos finished with 10 points.
While the Tigers were up by 20 points at one time, Kirkwood said there was still room to improve.
“We didn’t run offensively very well,” Kirkwood said. “We didn’t pass the ball enough. We didn’t get enough ball reversals. Those are some of the things that we need to work on once we get in district.”
Holy Cross ended the first quarter with a 12-7 lead then went on a 6-0 run to start the second. Belle Chasse scored two straight baskets, the second being a putback by TyRayous Blackson with 5:01 left that cut the Holy Cross lead to 18-11.
Holy Cross then held Belle Chasse to four points the rest of the half as the Tigers built a 15-point lead.
The Tigers opened the third quarter with McKay making a layup on a fastbreak that put his team ahead 32-15 with 7:40 left in the period.
After a free throw by Darius Rodrigue, McKay sank a 3-pointer to extend Holy Cross’ lead to 36-15 with 6:42 left in the third. A layup by Legard with 4:27 left in the third extended the lead to 40-20.
The Cardinals were held to five points in the fourth, with the only field goal, a 3-pointer by Jose Ramos coming with seven minutes left.
Friday’s win can also serve as preparation for the district schedule, Kirkwood said.
“It’s going to be a tough district,” said Kirkwood. “If our kids defend and actually give the ball out in transition, then we can score offensive transition points, we’re going to be fine. We’re going to be in games.”
For Belle Chasse coach Terrell Jordan, starting off well against teams is typical.
“Usually, we start off pretty good, get a good start on teams,” Jordan said. “It’s just that somewhere down the line we lose focus. “If we just keep that intensity throughout the game, we’ll be in the game.”
Jordan said he wanted to prepare his team for the type of defenses it will see from district opponents.
“That’s why I’m preparing them to run man-to-man,” Jordan said. “My district, we’ll be seeing a lot of man-to-man, a lot of full- court press. That’s the other thing, when they jump to full court press, we struggle with that.”