After his team’s 53-31 victory over Shaw on Friday night, Rummel coach Troy Holley was headed to his locker room with a message for his team.
“We have got to go to Jesuit (on) Tuesday night and beat them if we want to be a part of the District (9-5A) race,” Holley said.
“That’s what I’m going to tell my team right now.”
Rummel (19-8, 4-3) remained within hailing distance of the district leaders with the convincing win against Shaw (10-15, 1-5). It was the fourth time the two teams have played this season.
Rummel has won all four.
The Raiders also remain in contention for a possible state playoff berth. Rummel was ranked No. 28 in the LSHAA’s unofficial power rankings this week.
From the beginning Tuesday, Shaw’s offense struggled. The Eagles made only one field goal in each of the first two quarters and trailed 29-8 by intermission.
“We didn’t play with enough purpose in the first half,” Shaw coach John Quilter said. “I was disappointed with some our decisions with the ball.
“They play good positional defense.”
Rummel’s Dwight Harris played a tight man-to-man on Shaw’s Jaiwon Charles, a guard Quilter said has “NBA 3-point range” and who also penetrates the lane with ease.
Charles scored 29 points last week in Shaw’s 71-70 upset of Brother Martin.
With Harris extending his defense away from the basket, Charles’ only looks were on pull-up mid-range jumpers. When he drove, Rummel provided backside defensive help. Charles’ only two points of the first half came on a pair of free throws.
“We knew Charles was a fantastic player,” Holley said. “We really focused on our backside help.
“We held him in check in the first half, but we discussed that he’d make a run (of points) in the second half. We expected that.”
Shaw trailed 31-10 early in the third period when Charles finally found a little operating space. He scored nine points within a three-minute span and the Eagles had suddenly cut a 29-8 halftime lead to 33-24 with 1:40 remaining in the quarter.
Ashken Stamm and Adam Kerrigan’s free throws, preceded period-ending buckets by Kerrigan and Harris. Harris also had the assist on Kerrigan’s basket.
“I was pleased that we withstood their run,” Holley said. “We wanted to make sure they didn’t build momentum.”
Charles finished with 11points. He picked up his fourth foul with 1:25 left in the third quarter.
In addition to his defense, Harris led all scorers with 18 points.
Stamm, Trey LeBlanc and Caleb Burks each had eight points for Rummel.
It was a 4-3 game until Burks hit 3-pointers on back-to back Rummel possessions, giving the Raiders a 10-3 lead. They led 11-4 at the end of the opening quarter.
Harris and LeBlanc each had six points in the second period as the Raiders built the 29-8 advantage.