Bonnabel may have lost its first meeting with Landry-Walker on Jan. 19, but it was determined to not come away discouraged.
The Bruins (23-5) instead viewed the loss as proof it could go toe-to-toe with a championship level-team and may even be able to return the favor if given the chance.
No. 19-seeded Bonnabel did just that Tuesday night, holding on late to pull off the upset over No. 3 Landry-Walker 50-45 at home in the second round of the Class 5A boys basketball playoffs.
“We watched the film. We saw how bad we played,” said Bonnabel forward Joe Thompson, who finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
“We just kept telling ourselves the next time we see them, ‘we’re going to give them the ‘L,’ and that’s just what we did tonight.”
The Charging Bucs (20-9), who won the Class 4A state title the past two seasons before making the move up in classification this year, were known as one of the better perimeter shooting teams in Class 5A, but that wasn’t the case Tuesday.
Landry-Walker converted on less than 20 percent of its 3-pointers and had three opportunities to tie the game in the final 45 seconds with a long-range shot but all three attempts came up short.
Landry-Walker guard Lamar Peters, a Mississippi St. signee, finished with 13 points on 3-of-15 shooting from 3-point range.
“Tonight, we came out a little flat,” said Landry-Walker assistant Wilfred Antoine, who was coaching in place of the suspended Brian Gibson.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well, but we had some plays down the stretch we should’ve finished and didn’t. You have to give them the credit.”
With Landry-Walker struggling to score much of the night, the Bruins leaned on their frontline of Devante James, Justin Johnson and Thompson to control the paint and get easy shots for the rest of the team.
The trio combined for 28 points and 29 rebounds, while also making things difficult for Landry-Walker in the lane with their length in the 2-3 zone defense.
Thompson’s two free throws gave Bonnabel a 48-45 lead before the Charging Bucs missed their three potential game-tying shots, and Thompson added another free throw along with Kelvin Raymond to put the finishing touches on the win before the home crowd rushed the floor.
Guard T.J. Collins also finished with a game-high 16 points and four rebounds .
“They both are long, jump so well and play great for us on defense,” Bonnabel coach Glenn Dyer said about Thompson and James. “The activity those guys played with tonight, along with our home crowd, carried us at certain times, and they came up with huge plays down the stretch every time we needed it.”