Bragging rights in Algiers belong at 3332 Huntlee Drive … on the hardwood that is.
Despite what Karr boys basketball coach Taurus Howard described as a disappointing performance for much of the game, the Cougars (14-9) figured it out late to mount a fourth-quarter comeback and defeat Landry-Walker 47-42 in a nondistrict game Friday night at home.
The win was Karr’s second over its crosstown rival this season, but in no way did Howard walk away satisfied.
“To be able to be down in the fourth quarter, we did a good job of upping our defense and we made a little run right there to get a lead and a good job of keeping a lead,” said Howard, “but in no way, shape or form did we play well.
“Anytime you play Landry-Walker, it’s a big rivalry game. The kids hang out together, they stay together a lot, and a lot of our kids are really good friends with their kids. The only thing you can say is that we have bragging rights … this year.”
The Cougars’ victory came against a Landry-Walker playing without its leading scorer.
Senior guard Lamar Peters, a Mississippi State commitment, sat out of the contest because of disciplinary reasons. After the game, Landry-Walker coach Brian Gibson conceded there might have been a different outcome if Peters would have suited up.
“Without question,” Gibson said. “Lamar is the best player in the city and he could possibly be the best in the state, and everyone knows that.”
Karr took a 25-24 lead into at halftime before the Charging Buccaneers (10-8) began to heat up in the third quarter.
The two teams traded the lead three times in the quarter before Landry-Walker took a two-point lead into the fourth quarter.
After tying the game at the 7:08 mark, Karr began to distance itself.
Sophomore Quindell Johnson connected on a jumper to give the Cougars a lead, and in doing so ignited the home crowd.
Karr opened the quarter on an 8-3 run and outscored the Charging Bucs 13-6 over the final eight minutes, while also limiting them to 2-of-13 shooting from the field.
Senior Vincent Phillips led Karr with 15 points and seven rebounds. Senior Tyree Thompson finished with eight points, five rebounds and three assists and senior Devin Edinburgh chipped in six points, five rebounds and four blocks.
“They did a good job of making us play at their pace, especially in the first half,” Howard said. “Our effort in the first half is why we couldn’t play at the pace we wanted. But we increased our effort in the fourth quarter. We got a few steals and converted, which gave us the lead.”
Without Peters at its disposal, Landry-Walker could not keep pace with Karr, especially in the fourth quarter.
Junior Lamont Berzat led the team with 10 points and five rebounds, and junior Keytaon Thompson finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Both were held scoreless in the second half.
“We played well enough to win the game,” Gibson said. “We had some turnovers in the fourth quarter, which allowed them to catch up and separate. I’m proud of our team. They played hard and had a good showing for themselves considering (the circumstances).”