Country Day got revenge against De La Salle on Friday night, taking down the Cavaliers 66-55 on the road.
The Cajuns had three players score in double figures as they were able to control the game in the paint with the help of their big men. Sophomore guard Justin Ibieta had 14 points and attributed the win to his teammates’ unselfish play.
“We always try to make it a team effort — pass the ball around, move it as much as we can. We got most of our points inside off rebounds and just throwing it in there,” said Ibieta.
The two teams played earlier in the season at the Newman Invitational Tournament where De La Salle took home the 64-59 win.
Ibieta said his team was hungry to get another opportunity to play them again.
“We just wanted to play hard to make it even in the series for the year,” said Ibieta.
Country Day coach Mike McGuire said he was happy with his team’s ability to move the ball around and rotate players off the bench. They were able to take advantage of mismatches which helped them down the stretch.
“I think we’re pretty deep. Also I think that our kids shared the ball beautifully. We’ve got four guys that are (6-foot-4), so we really have an advantage with our size,” said McGuire. “I thought (Christian) Becnel played tremendous in the first half. I thought (Justin) Ibieta and (Ross) Talbot played terrific in the second half so that really was the difference, because we were able to take advantage of some of their smaller guards.”
Talbot led the team with 17 points and Becnel chipped in with 10.
De La Salle coach Paul Kelly said that his team could not overcome its slow start offensively as it played catch-up in the second half.
“I thought in the first half we were too frantic offensively,” said Kelly. “We had far too many turnovers in the first half and we didn’t shoot the ball well. So as we fell behind we were really limited in our options and eventually they were able to hurt us in the second half around the basket. Their size hurt us. They wore us down a little bit, and we’ve got be able to counter their size with shot-making ability, and we were not able to do that tonight.”
Despite the win, McGuire said his team needs to improve as they head into 2A District-11 play.
“We’ve got to keep shooting, get in better condition. We’re not where we need to be to play with a Riverside, but this was a tremendous team. They beat us earlier in the year. I thought our kids were inspired, I thought they played really hard, but we’ve got to be able to sustain it for 32 minutes, and I think we’re getting closer,” McGuire said.