Theirs weren’t the showcase games of the night. But the District 6-2A basketball games against Capitol were important for Redemptorist.

“It’s more than just bittersweet … it’s motivation,” Redemptorist girls coach Valencia Wilson said. “Our motto is ‘Remember me’ because we may be the last girls team we want to do something people will remember.

“We hope our parents and fans and alumni will come out and support us. This means something.”

It has been almost three weeks since the Diocese of Baton Rouge announced plans to close Redemptorist. The Tuesday games at RHS’ Neumann Activity Center marked the first home game for the boys since the announcement. It was the second home game for the girls, who are ranked fourth in the LHSAA’s latest 2A power rankings.

Wilson’s squad played without two starters, including junior standout Alexis Augustus, who is sidelined with a knee injury. The Wolves still notched an easy 71-36 victory over Capitol.

Another junior, Chelsea Singleton, scored a game-high 24 points. Regan Williams (17) and Shardae Melancon (15) also scored in double digits to help Redemptorist (15-5, 3-0) outscore the Lions (6-15, 1-2) in all four periods. Darneshia McCallister led the Lions with 19 points.

The Redemptorist boys didn’t fare as well. Capitol (3-14, 1-0) broke open a close game by outscoring the Wolves 16-8 in the fourth quarter. Michael Hill scored a game-high 19 for the Lions, making three 3-pointers. Dorian Stampley added 12.

Though he was frustrated, first-year RHS boys coach RoShon Jacobs noted the progress from a year ago, when the Wolves were winless. Mike Williams led Redemptorist (5-14, 0-1) with 17 points; Marquise Webb had 12.

“It’s tough when you have 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds who don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Jacobs said. “They hear about people trying to save the school, and they’ve been told it’s going to close.

“It’s hard to keep their heads in the game. We missed too many shots and made too many mistakes. Credit Capitol because I think they played the best I’ve seen them play.”

A solid crowd of Redemptorist and Capitol fans were scattered through the bleachers across from the benches for both teams. Many got vocal as the momentum shifted during the boys game.

Afterwards, the players pondered what had just happened and their next games.

“We need to play smarter,” Melancon said after the girls game. “We played hard … that’s something we do every game. What’s happening with the school is sad. All the games are important to us.”

Singleton vowed to focus on the remaining games.

“I’ve played and started here since I was in the eighth grade,” Singleton said. “There’s a group of us. We want to finish strong.”

Williams, a freshman who also was the Wolves’ football quarterback, said he also is locked in on the current season.

“We have to keep working hard every day to get better,” Williams said. “And focus on the next game.”