Walker High School had no answer for the duo of Justin and Julian Champagnie.
The senior forwards combined for 56 points as Bishop Loughlin (New York) easily defeated the Wildcats 78-60 in the opening game of theAllState Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic Boy’s National Bracket on Wednesday afternoon at the Alario Center in Westwego.
With the win, Bishop Loughlin (8-0) advances in the winner’s bracket and will play 1:30 p.m. Thursday, while Walker (14-6) will face an elimination game at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
Justin Champagnie finished with 29 points while Julian finished with 27 to lead Bishop Loughlin, while Jalen Cook finished with a game-high 31 and senior forward Trent Montgomery added 10 for the Wildcats.
A bucket by Julian Champagnie 10 seconds into the game gave Bishop Loughlin a 2-0 advantage, a lead it would never relinquish. The duo of Brian Thomas Jr. and Cook kept the game close throughout the first half.
With his team trailing 16-12 at the end of the first quarter, Cook scored five of the first eight points of the second quarter for Walker, cutting the deficit to 22-20 with 5:03 to go in the first half. A 3-pointer by Cook with 1:50 to go in the first half made it a 27-26, but that was the closest Walker could get.
Bishop Loughlin finished the first half on a 7-0 run to make it a 34-26 advantage and Julian Champagnie scored 11 of his squad’s first 14 points of the second half to make it a 48-34 lead with 4:31 to go in the third quarter.
“I thought we came out with good intensity early,” Walker coach Anthony Schiro said. “We were able to get some stops defensively and we kept (Bishop Loughlin) in front of us. As the game progressed, particularly in the second half we had trouble doing that.
“In the second half, their size and length became more of a problem. It made us extend our pressure even farther out, and we weren’t able to pack things in. Bishop Loughlin is a big, physical team. But it is like I told our team, these out-of-state teams in this tournament didn’t come down here because they weren’t good. We are going to be facing some quality opponents every time out and we will be a better team because of it.”