Basketball: Shaw opens final Catholic League season with easy win over Rummel
MARRERO – Now healthy, Archbishop Shaw figured to be a bit rusty Tuesday night in its Catholic League opener against Archbishop Rummel in its final year in the storied league before moving to Class 4A next year.
The Eagles had not played since Dec. 23 due to pandemic protocols.
While Shaw is departing after this season, the rest of the Catholic League will have to deal with them this season and it will be tough doing so.
The Eagles overcame a shaky start offensively with superb defense to handle Archbishop Rummel 57-28 in Marrero.
The win was the 12th straight for the Eagles (14-2), fourth in the most recent LHSAA Division I power rankings.
“We had one practice and we were off for 11 days,” Shaw coach Wes Laurendine said. “We played on the 23rd and we didn’t get together until a couple of days ago. I knew we would have some shooting woes. We’re normally a very good shooting team. We just had a cap on that thing (basket) today but I’m proud of our defensive effort. We pride ourselves at trying to hold our opponents to 40 points or less.”
The outcome was never in doubt.
With both teams struggling to find the basket, the Eagles jumped out to a 13-2 lead after one quarter and took a 23-6 lead into halftime, with Shaw smothering the Raiders defensively.
Shaw carried a 39-18 lead into the fourth quarter.
Senior center Rodney Phillips was a man inside, pumping in 18 points, all in the first three quarters, and pulling down 12 rebounds.
“I just wanted to set the tone for us going into district,” Phillips said. “We haven’t played in two weeks because of protocols. I just wanted to set the tone for us so that we have a chance to win district. It felt good to be back on the court. I’ve been slacking on rebounds and I wanted to get that double-double. We have four seniors this year. We all started in eighth or ninth grade.”
Laurendine had high praise for Phillips.
“Rodney has been in the system so long and he’s just an unbelievable kid,” Laurendine said. “Everything he gets, he deserves. He works hard. He plays well inside, he can step out and hit a three. Off the court, he’s just unbelievable.”
Junior Kam Johnson was in foul trouble most of the way but turned in on in the final quarter, scoring 15 of his 17 points. Johnson added four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Senior Jene Baquet had eight points and three rebounds.
Rummel (6-9) could never get going offensively.
Sophomore Jaidyn Martin, a fine running back in football, did not play until the second half and he scored eight points with five rebounds, all in the fourth quarter. Freshman Kendrick Joseph also had eight points and sophomore Darrius Davis finished with six points, 11 rebounds and two steals for the Raiders.
The Eagles open play in the 11th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic Thursday against Ridge View, South Carolina at the Alario Center. Shaw returns to District 9-5A play next Tuesday at home against Jesuit. The Blue Jays opened district play with a thrilling 57-56 home win over Brother Martin.
“That’s what we want,” Laurendine said. “We want that competition. We’re playing in it for the first time because we think we can compete. Hopefully, we can. Jesuit next week. They’re always a good team.”
Shaw is a good team, too, and is serving notice to its league brethren before moving on after this season.
SHAW 13 10 16 18 — 57
RUM 2 4 12 10 — 28
SHAW—Rodney Phillips 18, Kam Johnson 17, Jene Baquet 8, Isiah Barnes 6, Christian Harris 5, Austin LaSalle 3
RUM—Jaidyn Martin 8, Kendrick Joseph 8, Darius Davis 6, Chance Joseph 2, Peyton McDonald 2, Ja’Mard Jones 2
SHAW 33, RUM 28
SHAW 12, RUM 17
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…