LAKE CHARLES — Certain things had to fall in place for St. Michael the Archangel to have a chance at an upset at their first Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boys Top 28 tournament. When Lamar Peters’ 3-point shots started falling instead, the storyline changed.
Sixth-seeded Landry-Walker made six 3-pointers in the opening half and led wire-to-wire while claiming a 62-53 victory over St. Michael in the Class 4A semifinal game that concluded Wednesday’s action at Burton Coliseum.
“I thought we controlled the game from start to finish,” Landry-Walker coach Brian K. Gibson said. “Tonight we were the better team.”
Peters and post player Keytaon Thompson each had 17 points for the Chargin’ Bucs (25-9), who advance to play the winner of the Thursday semifinal between Salmen and McDonogh 35 in the 4A final at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Thompson also had a game-high 13 rebounds for the winners. A crowd of 5,971 attended Wednesday’s five-game session.
“I thought we were well prepared but I thought they shot the ball very well early,” St. Michael coach Drew Hart said. “We played from a deficit early, which opened up the floor. We did not want to defend that far out playing a man against them.
“We didn’t play that far out against Peabody. We packed it in and they missed shots. They (Landry-Walker) made shots.”
The loss ends a Cinderella run for 10th-seeded St. Michael (27-7). Jacob Evans scored a game-high 23 points to pace the Warriors. Nick Arcement added 11 for the Warriors.
“We still had a helluva year,” Evans, a Cincinnati signee, noted. “We can’t hang on heads because we surprised a lot of teams. A lot of people didn’t think we could make this far and we did.”
Landry-Walker used 3-pointers to build its first-half lead. Peters hit three quick 3-pointers from different spots on the floor and scored 11 points during the first three minutes of the game.
Though Peters went to the bench after picking up two fouls while trying to guard Evans, there was no drop off. Kahlil Williams drained three 3-pointers for the Chargin’ Bucs. Evans, who had nine first-half points, kept St. Michael close. He scored seven of the Warriors first nine points.
Michael Miketinas made two free throws that got St. Michael within four, at 15-11, going into the second quarter. David Ventress scored on a jumper in the lane to open the second quarter for the Warriors.
Getting within two was as close as SMHS could get. Landry-Walker stretched its lead to as much as 10 points. Miketinas hit a 3-pointer with 1:30 left in the half, cutting LWHS’ lead to 28-21.
Try as they might, the Warriors had trouble cutting into the Landry-Walker lead. Credit Thompson, who scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half. “Kayaton fills the gaps,” Gibson noted.
The Charging Bucs led 39-29 after three quarters. Two 3-pointers by Arcement got the Warriors closer. The second with 4:39 remaining made it 45-40 game. Thompson scored seven points in the sequence that followed to put the game away for Landry-Walker.
Evans hit two late 3-pointers, including one well beyond the arc at the top of the key. By then, the deficit was too large.
“With the speed of their guards, our windows of opportunity were much smaller than they have been,” St. Michael’s Hart noted. “I’m just proud we fought, but that’s how we’ve been all year. We fought to the end.”