Karr withstood a 26-point first half by Country Day’s J.C. Younger and pulled away with a relentless attack to defeat the Cajuns 68-58 Monday night in Country Day Classic tournament.
Karr (9-3) outscored the Cajuns 22-11 at one point in the fourth quarter and took a 68-54 lead.
Vincent Phillips, who scored 17 points, including 10 in the second half, put Karr in front to stay late in the third quarter and led a balanced Cougar attack.
“Vincent is so steady,” Karr coach Tauras Howard said. “He can do a lot for us, and he gives our offense a boost.”
Raekwon Bush scored 12 and Diamonte Woolridge added 10 for the Cougars.
Younger, who was dogged defensively by Daren Hulbert in the second half, finished with 32. Roman Williams added 14.
Younger found holes in Karr’s trapping defense for a half, but Hulbert guarded him most of the second half.
“Younger was just sensational,” Country Day coach Mike McGuire said. “It was a breakout game for him against a quality opponent. They face-guarded him with the smaller player in the second half.”
McGuire said his team experienced “fatigue.”
“They are so quick and they are relentless,” he said. “They run nice sets and are an unselfish team. Their constant pressure just wore us down.”
Karr will play University High, a 75-56 winner over Scotlandville, in Tuesday’s championship game at 8 p.m. Reigning Class 1A champion Country Day (4-2) plays Scotlandville at 6:30.
Younger was nearly unstoppable in the first half, scoring 26 points in the half as the Cajuns took a 30-29 halftime lead. He made eight of 12 field goals and both free throws he took in the opening two periods.
Younger, a 6-4 junior, scored on a variety of short, pull-up jumpers after drives to the basket against Karr’s trapping defense. He added three 3-pointers and missed on four 3-point attempts.
Country Day led 13-10 after the first quarter, a period that saw Younger score nine points. He scored all 17 of the Cajuns’ second quarter points.
“We knew he was a spot-up shooter,” Howard said. “He beat us off the dribble (in the first half), but we were able to get good backside help from our forwards (in the second).”
The Cougars limited Younger to three shots in the third quarter and rode an 8-point effort from Vincent Phillips to take a 46-43 lead by quarter’s end. Younger made a free throw with 5:58 remaining in the period, registering his 30th point.
But,when Phillips scored underneath with 3:20 remaining in the third quarter, the Cougars had a 39-38 lead, their first since 8-6 early in the first quarter.
Phillips’ basket was his first of three in the final three minutes of the third period.
Karr went on a 12-4 run at the start of the fourth quarter, built a 58-48 lead, and held Country Day without a field goal until the final 3:25.
“We gave a valiant effort tonight,” McGuire said. “They are just so athletic and very well-coached.”