At 5-foot-6, Landry-Walker’s Lamont Berzat was the biggest man on the court in Tuesday’s District 8-5A opener at Bonnabel.
Berzat scored 24 points, including five 3-pointers, and the Charging Buccaneers held on behind Lamar Peters’ late free throws to win 43-41.
“We weren’t hitting any shots in the second quarter, so Lamar came over to me and told me I had to shoot,” said Berzat, a UNO commitment who scored 14 points in the quarter while helping turn the game in Landry-Walker’s favor.
Landry-Walker, ranked fourth in the New Orleans Advocate Super 10, is 8-7, 1-0. Bonnabel, ranked seventh, is 15-3, 0-1. Peters, who has signed with Mississippi State, scored nine points but played a big role with his playmaking, mainly setting up Berzat.
Peters, who missed the previous game against Karr because of disciplinary reasons, sank a free throw in the final minute, and the Bucs center Keytaon Thompson scored a layup with 10 seconds left, giving Landry-Walker a 41-37 lead.
However, Bruins guard TJ Collins made a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds remaining. After Peters made two more, giving the Bucs a three-point lead, Collins was fouled. He made the first and intentionally missed the second.
The Bucs rebounded as the clock ran out.
Berzat scored 14 points in the second quarter, as Landry-Walker stormed back from a 13-0 deficit to lead 18-16 at halftime. Berzat sank four 3-pointers, including three in a row from the 3:54 mark to 2:47 of the quarter in giving the Bucs a 16-13 lead.
“We just hand to weather their energy at the beginning of the game, but I felt we were the better team,” said Bucs coach Brian Gibson, who has led Landry-Walker to the past two Class 4A state titles.
In the first quarter, in which Landry-Walker missed all nine of its shots and turned the ball over four times, as Bonnabel shot to a 10-0 lead by quarter’s end. All five Bruins starters scored.
When guard TJ Collins dropped in a 3-pointer 12 seconds into the second quarter, giving Bonnabel a 13-0 lead, it appeared the Bruins might be headed to a big win.
However, that’s when Peters hit a pull-up 16-footer from the right side, then followed with a drive and pass to Berzat that started him on his roll.