Central Catholic boys’ basketball coach Ree Case’s assessment of his squad’s upset to Arcadia Tuesday was concise and blunt.
“We just picked a bad time to play our worst game of the year,” the longtime Central Catholic coach said.
No. 7 Arcadia took advantage of it as it upset No. 2 seed Central Catholic, 64-44, in the Class 1A quarterfinals in Arcadia.
Central Catholic led just once in the game at 3-2 following Dontrell Brown’s long three-pointer early in the contest.
After Arcadia responded with a three-pointer for a 5-2 advantage, Central Catholic played the remainder of the game behind.
While the Hornets jumped out to as much as a 13-3 lead with about 2:52 after Central Catholic’s Tyler Hoffpauir fouled an Arcadia player on a layup he made and the Arcadia player converted the three-point play with a free throw, Central Catholic cut the deficit to 15-9 following a layup by Brown near the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Arcadia’s lead ballooned to as much as 13 at 30-17 following a three-pointer by Arcadia’s Eric Brown, who tied teammate Tre’darius Fielding for the team lead with 16 points.
“The Brown kid is a good guard,” Case said. “He played really well. We held him to 16 points, which is probably average or below his average. We just didn’t do a very good job offensively of having good possessions. We missed some shots we normally make and we weren’t aggressive enough on the offensive glass. We just didn’t get enough offensive rebounds as we normally do.”
Despite its shooting woes, Central Catholic had cut Arcadia’s lead to 32-24 by halftime.
In the second-half, the Eagles came out firing as Brown hit a bucket, followed by a three-pointer by Nick Case to cut the Central Catholic deficit to 32-29, prompting Arcadia to call a timeout with 6:10 remaining.
However, Arcadia outscored Central Catholic 15-2 the remainder of the third quarter for a commanding 47-31 advantage at the end of three periods.
During the run, Arcadia hit three three-pointers, two of those by Eric Brown and another by Anthony Boston.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles could get no closer than 14 points, while late in the game, Arcadia’s lead grew to as much as 22 following a free throw by Fielding with 2:15 remaining for a 62-40 advantage.
Josh Singleton and Dontrell Brown scored Central Catholic’s final two baskets, while Arcadia’s Eric Brown added two free throws for the final.
Besides Eric Brown and Fielding, Antoinne Baker added 10 points for Arcadia, who will face No. 3 seed North Central in the Class 1A semifinals Saturday in Lake Charles.
Dontrell Brown led Central Catholic with 23 points, while Nick Case added nine, Hoffpauir added six and Singleton, four.
“This is the first game I can remember all year we had one guy in double figures and only four guys score,” Case said.
While the Eagles finished short of a state title, Case said the year was an excellent one.
“Unfortunately, in sports you’re judged by your last game and our last game was our worst game of the year … and we got beat,” he said.
Despite the lopsided loss, he asserted that, “there’s definitely no team in Class 1A 20 points better than us. I can tell you right now.”
Case thanked his family, his assistant coach and brother Ron Case, and his teams’ parents for their support this year.
He also thanked his seniors, Dontrell Brown, Singleton, Lamar Grogan, David Brown and Luke Landry for their efforts and hard work, calling them “better young men than basketball players.”
Information courtesy of KBZE 105.9 FM