LAKE CHARLES — Crescent City did not need much time to regroup from a slow start. A 24-5 second-quarter explosion gave the Pioneers the push they needed to claim a resounding 65-42 victory over Runnels.
The Division V select semifinal game between District 7-B rivals tipped off Tuesday’s action at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boys Basketball tournament at Burton Coliseum.
“I think we started off flat. We had to get ourselves going a little bit. The guys started to trust and believe in each other,” Crescent City coach Shaun Dumas said. “We had to play the brand of basketball we play. And that’s loving each other, being there for each other and being dependable. I think once we did that, we got into a rhythm and then one thing led to another.”
With the win, Crescent City (25-13) advances to play Jehovah-Jireh in the Division V title game for the third straight season. Defending champion and top seed JCA (36-6) beat fourth-seeded Northside Christian of Crowley 103-39 in the other semifinal. The teams meet at 10 a.m. Friday.
A 3-pointer by Cade Tate just ahead of the first-quarter buzzer gave Runnels a 9-8 lead. Crescent City reeled off 20 of the next 23 points to take control of the game.
“Coach Ben (Young) does a really job with his crew,” Dumas said. “They ran a couple of sets that they had just put in. We broke down on defense early and they made us play. Once we got going, everybody played with great energy.”
Byron Joshua led Crescent City with 16 points. Aiden Daliet, who finished with 14 points, scored 9 of his 11 first-half points in the second quarter to lead the charge. Traysion Wilburn added 12. Cade Tate finished with 12 and Griffin Kennedy 11 for Runnels, which made its first tourney appearance since 2008.
Daliet had two 3-pointers in that pivotal second quarter in which Runnels made just 1 of 7 shots from the field. Crescent City scored 15 points off turnovers in the first half and 25 overall.
“They were exactly who we thought they were. We had a game plan and thought it was a great game plan,” Runnels' Young said. “Guys really bought into it and in the first quarter, guys did what they were supposed to. Then they turned us over, and it snowballed from there.”
JEHOVAH-JIREH 103, NORTHSIDE CHRISTIAN 39: JCA scored 41 third-quarter points to put the second semifinal game well out of reach. Northside Christian (23-13) kept it close in the opening minutes. But Jehovah scored 11 first-quarter points off turnovers and 58 points off turnovers in the game.
John Paul Ricks finished with 22 points to lead five double figures scorers for JCA. Timothy Jackson added 18 points and 14 rebounds, while point guard Jaron Davis contributed 16 points and 12 assists.