MORGAN CITY — The Central Catholic Eagles may not have played in nearly a week, but the squad didn’t look at all rusty in its first-round playoff game against Tensas High School.
In fact, it was the opposite.
Central Catholic (21-4), Class 1A’s second-ranked squad, came out firing fast and furious en route to an 85-47 victory against No. 31 seed Tensas (8-21) in first-round action Tuesday.
The Eagles, who were playing the Panthers for the third time in as many years in the basketball playoffs, raced out to a 33-8 lead at the end of the first quarter following a Tyler Hoffpauir bucket.
During the impressive first-quarter, the Eagles made the majority of their shots, bolting out to a large lead using a series of fast-break points as well as working the ball in its half-court offense using crisp passing.
“I’m really excited with the way we played in the first quarter,” Central Catholic coach Ree Case said. “We struggled the last couple of weeks shooting the ball. I think we came out (and) really shot the ball … well. I really liked the way we shared it. I thought we passed it really well.”
Case said this year’s squad could be the best team, passing wise, he has had.
“When they share the ball they make shots,” he said. “When they don’t share the ball, we miss shots. It just goes hand-in-hand.”
While Central Catholic was hot to begin the game, Tensas couldn’t get much going.
While not as hot as the first quarter, the Eagles extended its lead to 54-21 at the half following Luke Landry’s three-pointer.
Central Catholic held scoring advantages of 18-17 in the third quarter and 13-9 in the fourth for the final margin of victory.
Hoffpauir led five Eagles in double figures with 17 points.
Others reaching double figures included Nick Case, 16; Lamar Grogan and Dontrell Brown, 12 apiece; and Josh Singleton, 10.
Both Luke Landry and Brent Green had five points, while David Brown added four.
Central Catholic hit seven three-pointers in the contest.
Tyrus Roberts had 12 for Tensas while Arthur Roberts had 11.
While the game was a blowout, Case said he would rather have had that than a close game, noting they got to get other players some experience.
“It’s really nice to be able to get them some minutes, get the butterflies out now and get them some experience, before it becomes a really big game,” he said.
Central Catholic will not have to wait long for that “really big game” as Southern Lab, a traditional Louisiana basketball power and the 15th seed in this year’s playoffs, comes to Morgan City Friday for a 6 p.m. contest.