Replay: Flippin scores 29 to lead East Jefferson past Bonnabel, 60-51
KENNER – The stage was set…literally.
Former Bonnabel great Shan Foster was stationed on the stage behind the goal at The Bear Trap, his former home.
Foster, perhaps the best player in basketball history at Bonnabel, was back in town for the retirement of his No. 32.
The current Bruin team welcomed its arch-rival East Jefferson, a rival it had beaten seven straight times.
While the party was a good one for Foster, the Warriors spoiled the night for Bonnabel and its fans.
Visiting East Jefferson played broke open a close game in the third quarter and went on to upset the Bruins 60-51 in a game aired live at CrescentCitySports.com.
Six-foot-8 senior Chris Flippin was ready and motivated to go against 6-foot-8 Louisiana Tech signee Will Allen of Bonnabel.
Flippin was simply outstanding, scoring 29 points, pulling down five rebounds and blocking two shots.
“We came out ready to play,” Flippin said. “They beat us too many times, including last year by 3 points. We wanted it bad and we came out and played tough. It was a motivation to play against Allen. He’s like my size and stuff.”
The first half was hotly contested.
There were 10 lead changes and three ties in the half as Bonnabel took a 16-15 lead after one quarter before the Warriors rallied to take a 31-27 lead by halftime.
The big run for East Jefferson was at the start of the third quarter, a 12-2 run to expand the lead 43-29 before the Warriors led 47-39 going to the final quarter.
Bonnabel, which has reached the Class 5A state championship game in two of the last four seasons, got to within six points at 55-49 in the final quarter but never got any closer.
The Warriors are a much better team with football players Arthur Oliver, J.J. Johnson Jermaine Guillard and K.T. Trapanier in the fold.
Oliver came up big, scoring 17 points with four rebounds three assists and a block. Molik Reese added seven points, seven rebounds and three assists for East Jefferson.
“They make a big difference,” East Jefferson coach Marcell Fisher said. “In the beginning of the year, we started off with maybe seven or eight kids. I want to give credit to our coaching staff. I think I’ve got the best coaching staff in the state.”
The Warriors won despite playing without leading scorer Jeffrey Landry, who averages 17 points per game. Landry missed the game for undisclosed reasons.
Allen did his part, finishing with 16 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks but was held to just four points in the second half. Nomar Dijol scored 12 points on four 3-pointers with four rebounds while Theo Johnson had 10 points, six assists and two rebounds.
Foster, who was the Metro Most Valuable Player in the New Orleans area in his senior year at Bonnabel, returned from Nashville, where he starred at Vanderbilt, still the all-time leading scorer in Commodore history. Foster was a high school teammate of Bonnabel head coach Micah Hagans, his closest friend.
The Bruins could have used him on this night.
Both teams return to action Friday night as the Warriors host Chalmette at 7 p.m. while the Bruins travel to McMain Friday at 7 p.m.
“We’ll just keep grinding and trying to teach the kids how to play,” Fisher said. “I think Chris Flippin is going to be one of the best big men in the state. We worked this summer to refine his body. He’s starting to believe now. If we can continue improving, we are going to be able to make a great run in the state playoffs.”
The two teams will meet in District 8-5A play on Jan. 29 at East Jefferson.
“We can accomplish anything we put our minds to,” Flippin said.
EJ 15 16 16 13 — 60
BON 16 11 12 12 — 51
EJ—Chris Flippin 29, Arthur Oliver 17, Molik Reese 7, KJ Johnson 5, K.T. Trapagnier 2
BON—Will Allen 16, Nomar Dijol 12, Theo Johnson 10, Jacqu’ee Jefferson 8, Shawn Knight 3, Vandell Smith 2
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…