Rain poured down outside the Newman School gym on Tuesday night.
On the inside, the 3-pointers rained down.
Newman knocked down 13 3-pointers and cruised to a 61-39 victory over St. Charles Catholic in a District 12-2A game.
“I don’t think we’ve made that many 3s all season,” said Finn Bendana.
Bendana and fellow sophomore Riley Demps finished with 16 points each for the Greenies (10-7, 2-1).
Demps got the Greenies started on their 3-point barrage with back-to-back 3-pointers in the opening quarter. Demps finished with eight points in the first quarter as Newman built a 20-4 lead over St. Charles.
The Comets (12-12, 1-3) scored just one field goal in the opening quarter and just two in the first half. Their first field goal didn’t come until the 2:10 mark of the first quarter on a jumper by Tommy Charles. They didn’t score again until Robert McDonald made a lay-up with just 28 seconds left in the half. By that time, Newman held a commanding 37-6 lead.
The Greenies scored 15 of their 17 second-quarter points in 3-pointers. Elbert Thomas, a standout receiver on the football team made two of his three 3-pointers in the quarter. Bendana, Cass Lapeyre and William Casey also made 3-pointers in the quarter.
“We are very unselfish and looked to make the extra pass,” Newman coach Jimmy Tillette said. “Our theory is to shoot open shots. I thought we played well on both ends of the court, particularly in the first half.”
The game was never close.
Bendana scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half.
“He is really tough and plays both ends,” Tillette said of Bendana. “He drove the ball well, rebounded well and played well on defensive end, taking a charge.”
Newman’s biggest lead of the game was 31 points early in the third.
It ruined the return of St. Charles coach Kemper Todd, who spent four seasons as coach of Newman.
“It wasn’t quite the way I planned it,” said Todd, in his second season at St. Charles. “They played a very good game and took us out of what we wanted to do. I’ve seen them play a lot and haven’t seen them shoot that many. They shot it well.”
Jordan Arceneaux scored 17 points and Jobe Kelly had 16 (four 3-pointers) for St. Charles.
“Our coach was stressing getting in the gaps on defense and that really helped us in the first half when we held them to six points,” Bendana said. “In the second half we slipped a little bit but I thought we still finished strong.”