There was a lot to like about Landry-Walker’s regional-round playoff home victory against Fair Park of Shreveport on Tuesday.
The Charging Buccaneers held Fair Park to eight points in taking a 22-point halftime lead on their way to a 64-45 victory.
However, coach Brian Gibson was not all happy with his team’s play.
Gibson, who guided last year’s team to the Class 4A state championship, said he sees the bigger picture. He got on his team hot and heavy during stretches of the second half.
“We lost our intensity,” he said. “I know we had a big lead, but we can’t relax like that. They have to understand that every team in the playoffs is good. We have to be more consistent with our effort and intensity.”
Gibson also knows what’s next. The Buccaneers (23-9), the District 9-4A champions, play at district rival Karr with a trip to state semifinals in Lake Charles on the line.
After leading 30-8 at halftime, Landry-Walker allowed 13 points in the third quarter, although it increased its lead to 47-21. Fair Park, which went 10-0 in winning the District 1-4A title, got within 16 points of the lead — 51-35 — with 3:36 left in the fourth quarter. Victory, however, was never in doubt.
Guard Lamar Peters, a starter on last year’s team, said he understood why Gibson was not pleased.
“We’re trying to get back there,” said Peters, who had 15 points and got the Buccaneers started with two first-quarter 3-pointers. “We have two starters back from last year’s team. We know what it takes to get back, and our intensity has to be there from the beginning of the game until the end.”
It was certainly there at the beginning Tuesday night. Enjoying advantages in size, athleticism and shooting, Landry-Walker also played its patented suffocating full-court, man-to-man defense. When center Blake Paul, who scored a game-high 23 points, dunked an alley-oop pass that gave the Bucs a 9-2 lead, Fair Park coach Eddie Hamilton called timeout to settle his team. However, Landry-Walker ended the half on another 9-2 run.
“The difference was experience,” Hamilton said. “They are the defending champions, and they did what they were supposed to do.”
In the second quarter, the Bucs picked up where they left off and went into halftime leading 30-8. Peters finished the first half with 11 points.
Fair Park didn’t reach double figures until the six-minute mark of the third quarter, when Donnie Perkins drove for a basket, was fouled and scored. However, the Indians did show life in the quarter. Tyler Ford led the Indians with 13 points.
Gibson said he actually likes this edition of the Bucs, saying it may be better than last year’s team.
“Last year, we were small,” he said. “This year, we’ve got some of everything. We are a very good shooting team, we have a lot of ball-handlers, and we have size in (6-foot-8) Paul, a rim protector.”