The Landry-Walker and University High boys basketball teams aren’t used to losing in the second round of tournaments often, but someone had to go down when the two titans crossed paths Thursday night.
Both schools came in as two-time defending state champions, but Charging Bucs guard Lamar Peters scored 32 points to help lead to a 67-61 win over the Cubs in the second round of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Classic at the Alario Center on Thursday night.
Landry-Walker (11-5) moves on to play Riverside, which defeated Lafayette Christian 65-60 on Thursday, in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday.
“I know if I come out playing hard early, it’s going to help my teammates play with more intensity,” said Peters, a Mississippi State commitment.
“I knew my teammates were depending on me, so big-time players have to make big-time plays.”
After trailing the majority of the first half, U-High started getting major contributions from leading scorers Jalen Johnson and Wayde Sims and crept back into the game.
The duo combined for 14 points in the third quarter and Johnson’s layup with 47 seconds left in the third quarter tied it at 44.
But Peters took over the game in the fourth quarter, nailing four of his 10 three pointers in the second half and put the Charging Bucs ahead 60-54 with his final one.
The Cubs continued to make a run at the lead late, but Landry-Walker made enough free throws in the end to come away with the win.
Sims, an LSU commitment, finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Johnson added 21 points and seven rebounds.
“The shooting was the major difference. You would think they would cool off at some point,” U-High coach Joe Spencer said. “They shot the lights out, and we should’ve gone inside more. We are more of an inside-out team.”
U-High gave Landry-Walker some early issues with its size advantage on the inside, but the Charging Bucs combatted that with hot perimeter shooting, making seven 3-pointers in the first half.
The Cubs grabbed a 13-10 lead, with Sims scoring 11 of those points, but the Charging Bucs took control with a 9-2 run that ended with a Peters 3-pointer to open the second quarter that gave Landry-Walker a 22-15 lead.
The Charging Bucs maintained that lead the rest of the second quarter and took a 31-26 lead into halftime.
“We had a lot of respect for them coming in. We knew they won back-to-back titles just like us,” Landry-Walker coach Brian Gibson said. “Our football players have been back for about a month now, and they are starting to get their legs underneath them. I think that was a big difference.”