LAFAYETTE — In front of a standing-room only home crowd, St. Thomas More defeated cross-town rival Teurlings Catholic 48-40 on Friday night.
It was the second time this district season that the two teams faced off with neither team eclipsing 50 points. Teurlings Catholic defeated STM 36-35 last month.
The victory also created three-way tie atop the District 5-4A standings between STM, Teurlings and St. Martinville. Each team has two regular- season games remaining.
STM (19-8, 8-2) held a slim 12-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Teurlings rallied in the second quarter holding the Cougars to four points. The Rebels’ Grant LaGrange drained a 3-pointer right before halftime to tie the game at 16.
Teurlings Catholic (22-8, 8-2) started off the third quarter on a 10-4 run and appeared to have gained control, but the Cougars answered quickly.
Deuce Wallace came off the bench and hit a 3-pointer, which ignited the home crowd. Then Devante Benjamin dove out of bounds for a steal that resulted into a fastbreak bucket. The Cougars ended the quarter on an 8-0 run to lead 31-30.
Wallace scored nine points in the victory.
“Deuce is the player of the game,” St. Thomas More coach Danny Broussard said. “He came off the bench and sparked us.”
Benjamin kept things rolling as he scored the first four points in a 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter. The guard had recently missed eight days of school because of illness and was still getting his legs underneath him during Tuesday’s game at Breaux Bridge.
Benjamin scored 14 points in Friday’s victory.
“He had a rough game at Breaux Bridge,” Broussard said. “I told him he had to get past that. He was solid all night long.”
While STM kept building on its lead, Teurlings Catholic struggled to score. The Rebels didn’t mae a field goal until 1:31 left in the fourth when Cole Kelley found Hidalgo on an alley-oops layup.
That bucket ended a 7:21 field goal drought that began late in the third quarter.
“We just went ice cold,” Teurlings Jake Dueitt said. “We couldn’t execute done the stretch.”
Ty Labrie was the only Rebel in double figures with 12 points while junior post player Cole Kelley, who had scored 31 against St. Martinville on Tuesday, was held to only five points.
“I thought we did a good job suffocating when the ball came inside,” Broussard said. “We just got after it tonight.”