CARENCRO — St. Thomas More coach Danny Broussard and Carencro coach Chris Kovatch are no strangers on the basketball court.
The two have coached against each other long enough to know what the other is doing at all times. Broussard, however, pulled the 5-0 defense out of his bag of tricks Tuesday and it stifled Carencro.
The Cougars jumped out to a 12-0 start and led 16-2 after the first quarter. The lead jumped as high as 20-2. The Bears cut the lead to three points in the third quarter, but the defensive pressure was too much and STM picked up a big 56-41 momentum-building win at the end of the season.
“I love the way we played with our intensity tonight,” Broussard said. “We are peaking at the right time. Kovatch and I go back so long, he knows what I’m throwing at him. I figured if I threw him that 50 defense, it would cause some problems. It got us jump-started and I think it was the key to this game.”
Carencro cut the lead to 37-34 late into the third quarter behind aided by two big 3s from Joseph Charles. Kovatch said they began to execute the game plan in the third quarter, but the mistakes became insurmountable.
“It takes a lot of energy to come back from that big of a deficit,” Kovatch said. “We started playing like we were supposed to play, then we don’t make a simple play down the court on the next play and it was over from there.
“STM’s kids were ready to play and ours weren’t. We’ve got a lot of stuff to get better at and that we have to fix that came out tonight.”
With the lead down to three points, STM’s Jaden Shelvin hit a huge 3-pointer to bring the Cougars back up six. Broussard pointed to that shot as the one to give STM the momentum for good.
“When he drained that, we got the momentum back,” Broussard said. “It was a huge shot and our guys off the bench contributed and it was a total team effort.”
Broussard said the Cougars 30-29 loss to Teurlings provided a lot of lessons, including one that Broussard himself had got learn. Broussard said his team is peaking at the right time and he likes what he is seeing heading into the postseason.
“I learned that this team is better in the full court than in the half court,” Broussard said. “We are better up tempo where we get quick layups. It just took me a little longer this year to learn what my team is.
“We had some things we had to iron out. We really have the momentum right now and those guys in that locker room are really believing in themselves. We are playing with a lot of confidence. I would put our schedule against anyone's and I think we are seeing the results right now. We don’t have the best win-loss record, but we can do some damage in that bracket.”