Newman sophomore Riley Demps fell just one 3-pointer shy of matching his career high.
It didn’t really matter.
His six 3-pointers and game-high 24 points were plenty to lead No. 16 Newman to a 59-38 victory over No. 17 David Thibodaux in the opening round of the Class 2A boys basketball playoffs on Friday.
“It was one of those nights when it just feels good coming out of your hand,” Demps said. “My teammates did a good job of finding me when I was in rhythm and coach got me in spots where I could make shots.”
Newman (15-10) advances to Tuesday’s second round to play top-seed Madison Prep.
“I’m not even thinking about that right now,” Newman coach Jimmy Tillette said. “I’m happy for these guys for working so hard all year to get to the playoffs. Our district is hellacious with four teams in the playoffs, including the No. 2 (Riverside) and No. 3 (Country Day) teams in the state.”
Demps and teammate Finn Bendana combined for 23 points in the first half to match the 23 points of the visiting Bulldogs. Newman lead 34-23 at halftime.
The visitors from Lafayette went inside to start the second half and cut it to 34-28, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Elbert Thomas and Demps stretched the lead back to 12 and the Greenies were in control the rest of the way.
“I thought we did well against a very athletic team,” Tillette said. “It was a team victory and we played well on both ends of the floor. We only had two turnovers in the first half and took care of the ball. We got open shots and when (Demps) gets open shots, he usually knocks them down. The team was unselfish.”
Cass Lapeyre chipped in 18 points for Newman, including nine in the fourth quarter. Bendana finished with 10.
Najja Engleton scored 14 to lead David Thibodaux, which finished the season 18-13.
Newman will head to Baton Rouge on Tuesday to play a Madison Prep team that has lost just four games this season and is riding an 18-game winning streak.
“Everybody knows about them and how good they are,” Demps said. “We are going to work hard this week and get ready for them. That’s the next challenge.”
ST. PAUL’S 83, ACADIANA 72: The Wolves extended their winning streak to 31 with a first round victory in the Class 5A playoffs.
St. Paul’s (31-1), the No. 4 seed, will play the East Ascension-Denham Springs winner in the second round. The Wolves are two wins away from tying the school record for wins (33) set in 2006.
SOPHIE B. WRIGHT 70, ST. THOMAS AQUINAS 65: Sophie B. Wright, a No. 19 seed playing its first playoff game in school history, went on the road and knocked off No. 14 St. Thomas in the Class 2A playoffs.
The Warriors (18-11), advance to the second round to play No. 3 seed Country Day.
KARR 61, S. LAFOURCHE 45: Diamante Woolridge scored 18 points to lead the Cougars to an opening round victory in the Class 4A playoffs. John Maxmillion added 17 points and Tyree Thompson had 12 for No. 3 Karr, which will play No. 14 Franklinton in the second round. Franklinton beat Bastrop 76-60.
CHALMETTE xx, WALKER: Mitchell Robinson, a 7-foot junior who is committed to Texas A&M, scored 16 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked six shots to lead the No. 17 Owls to a road victory over No. 17 Walker. Chalmette will host top-seed Natchitoches Central on Tuesday in the second round of the 5A playoffs.