Fighting off a valiant effort from a Slidell team looking for their first district win of the season, Mandeville still beat the Tigers 60-50 in 6-5A action Tuesday.
Mandeville (13-8, 4-1) was led by Hunter Dugas who scored a game-high 14 points. Ethan Turner had 13, Eric Degelos had 12 and Jessie Johnson had 11 for the winners.
Slidell (6-11, 0-5) was led by 12-point efforts from Josh Conner and Reuben Cousin. Slidell point guard JR McAbee was the other double-figures scorer with 10 points.
Relying on their depth going against a Slidell team with only nine healthy players, Mandeville open the third quarter with back-to-back buckets for a 32-28 lead. The Mandeville lead would expand dramatically in the final quarter. Up 44-40 heading into the quarter, the Skippers opened the quarter by scoring seven of the first eight points of the final period, five of them coming from Dugas.
The leading scorer for the Skippers heading into the game against Slidell, Dugas said it was a hard-fought win over the Tigers.
“For some reason it is always hard to come here (to Slidell) and come away win a win,” Dugas said. “They are a team that always plays hard against us, and we always have to work hard from the tip-off to the final buzzer to get the kind of result that we want. It of course is always great to come away with a road district win. Anytime you can do that it is special and something you are not going to take for granted.”
A bucket by Johnson with 4:48 left in the period gave the Skippers a 53-41 advantage that all but put the game out of reach.
With his shot not falling as in past games, including a 37-point outburst against St. Paul’s, Dugas credited the rest of the Skippers for stepping up.
“I got to give a tremendous amount of credit to my teammates tonight,” Dugas said. “Eric and Ethan had big games and Jessie Johnson played really well for us inside to help us come away with a big win that is going to help us get to where we want to go this season.”
The first half went back-and-forth, with no team leading by more than four points. Mandeville led the entire opening quarter. Slidell took its first lead at 16-15 with 6:58 to go in the first half on a free throw by Cousin, and a quick 5-0 run midway through the second quarter gave the Tigers their biggest lead at 21-17 with 5:01 left. Mandeville answered the Slidell run with an 8-0 run to regain the lead at 25-23 with 2:57 to go in the half, and a bucket by J.D. Johnson with 15.5 seconds left in the half sent the teams to the locker room tied at 28.