Crescent City pulls away in second half to down Calvary Baptist in Division IV boys basketball championship

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Crescent City basketball champs

Having to go on the road at the last minute and playing in front of a mostly empty gym did not stop Crescent City Christian from achieving their ultimate objective.

The top-seeded Pioneers pulled away in the second half for a 60-49 victory over sixth-seeded Calvary Baptist in the Division IV boys basketball championship game Saturday at Lee Magnet in Baton Rouge.

Kurt LabeaudLeading by five to start the second half, Crescent City maintained the lead behind Kurt Labeaud, the game’s most outstanding player who tallied seven points in the third. The Pioneers outscored the Cavaliers, 10-6, to lead 40-31 with 2:05 to go in the quarter and eventually took at 45-37 advantage into the final period.

Calvary opened the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run to draw within 45-43 with 5:38 to go but the Pioneers responded with a decisive 10-2 spurt started by a pair of free throws from Byron Joshua.

“My guys stuck to the game plan and they executed it,” Crescent City coach Shawn Dumas said. “We stuck to our principles and rebounded well.”

No fans were allowed in attendance per the LHSAA Coronavirus advisory issued late this week that followed regulations put in place by the state of Louisiana to limit public gatherings to 250 or less. In fact, no more than 60 people were in the gym which included both teams, school administrators, officials, game management, credentialed media and officials.

Division Iv empty stands

Crescent City as the higher seed was set to host the final before the LHSAA approved Calvary Baptist’s request to move the game from the metro New Orleans area because of higher risk of contracting the virus.

Dumas explained how the support for his squad extended much further than the walls of the Lee Magnet gym.

“We have the support of the school community and the church community as well,” said Dumas. “This is who we are. We are Crescent City and we love each other.”

The Pioneers were led by Joshua and Jordin Farrell with 14 points each. Glenn Rhone added 13 points, and Labeaud finished with 12.

Calvary took a quick 4-0 lead to start the game but Rhone nailed a three-ball to put the Pioneers on the board. Another three-pointer by Keane Smith with 4:45 to go in the quarter tied the score at 6-6 but the Cavaliers held a 13-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

We are not a six-seed, more like a three or four seed, and I didn’t pay attention to the ratings till February,” said Calvary Baptist coach Victor Morris. “We went out and executed our game plan, even with no fans in the stands.”

Labree Williams paced Calvary with 14 points. Ben Ponder added 11, and D’Marcus Hall finished with nine.

The second quarter started with the Pioneers’ taking their first lead of the game, 15-13, on a Farrell three-point play. Crescent City later led 24-17 with 2:12 to go in the half after a 7-0 run and took a 30-25 advantage into the locker room.

“It was a big adjustment playing the game in Baton Rouge instead of Metairie,” explained Labeaud. “Give credit to my teammates, especially the seniors and Coach Shaun. We’ve been through so much. It’s the love that binds us together.”

Crescent City certainly enjoyed the ride home from what was a different experience but also just another state championship appearance for a program used to being there.

“We been in the State Championship the past four years and we’ve won two so were at 50 percent,” said Dumas.

It’s basketball and not baseball but batting or shooting .500 is not bad at all. Just ask the Pioneers.

LHSAA Prep Basketball Championship Results from Saturday, Mar. 14

Non-Select at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles

4A–#1 Peabody 57, #2 Breaux Bridge 48

3A–#1 Bossier 62, #2 Wossman 61

1A–#1 North Central 81, #3 Lincoln Prep 65

Class B–#2 Doyline 85, #1 Simsboro 83 (OT)

Select Championships

Division I—# 1 Scotlandville 66, #2 St. Augustine 39

Division IV—#1 Crescent City Christian 60, #6 Calvary Baptist 49

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Randy Pistorius

Randy Pistorius

Reporter

Randy Pistorius is a lifelong resident of South Louisiana and is currently working in the communications field in the Baton Rouge Metropolitian Area. Randy’s start in journalism came while still in high school at De La Salle in New Orleans and that carried with him to Southeastern Louisiana University where he wrote for the Lions Roar and also worked in…

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