Karr senior Diamante Wooldridge loves basketball.
“But football is what’s going to take me out of the city,” said the senior who is also a standout receiver on the football team.
But on Wednesday night, it was Woolridge on the basketball court that led his team to victory.
Woolridge knocked down a pair of free throws with 8.4 seconds left to seal Karr’s 65-61 victory over Country Day in a battle of two of the top three ranked teams in The New Orleans Advocate Super 10.
“It wasn’t any pressure,” Woolridge said. “I do that in practice every day. No pressure at all.”
Woolridge, who will sign to play football with Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday, finished with just four points, none bigger than his last two that helped the No. 2 Cougars (15-10) win the season series against the visiting No. 3 Cajuns (16-6).
Vincent Phillips scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Cougars. He was one of three Karr players in double figures, joined by Devin Edinburgh (16) and Tyree Thompson (14). A pair of free throws by Phillips with 1:54 left gave Karr a 61-55 lead, but the Cajuns didn’t go away.
Edinburgh played big in the fourth when he scored seven of his points.
“Devin did a good job defending and helping us control the boards,” Karr coach Taurus Howard said.
Country Day had its chances but made just 15 of 24 free throws. The Cajuns went 4 of 9 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
“We missed a bunch of free throws throughout the game,” Country Day coach Mike McGuire said. “Karr was really good inside and did some good things to get the ball inside in the paint. We missed a lot of open free throws, and they contested every thing at the rim so they are hard to score on.”
Romin Williams scored 19 points, and Michael Corchiani had 17 for the Cajuns.
“Give Karr credit,” McGuire said. “They were terrific. They were bigger and better than us tonight.”
It was the final meeting of the season between the Class 2A Cajuns and Class 4A Cougars.
Country Day defeated Karr in the championship game of the Newman Tournament, while the Cougars beat the Cajuns in the semifinals of the Country Day Tournament.
Karr got off to a fast start, building a 15-7 lead after Qyrique Dabon scored on a spin move in the post with 2:03 left in the opening quarter. But Country Day responded by going on a 14-0 run that spilled into the second quarter. Corchiani scored six points during the Cajuns’ spurt. Williams knocked down a long 3-pointer on the opening possession of the second quarter that gave Country Day its first lead, 17-15.
Karr ended its four-minute scoring drought when Tyree Thompson scored on an assist from Vincent Phillips. Country Day led 35-31 at halftime and the game went back and forth the rest of the way.
“This was a big win for us because it helps us with power points,” Woolridge said.