HAIL TO THE CHAMPS! 9-3A winner PHS joins trio of co-champs to lead prep hardwood honor

Tryve Brackin
TEAM CAPTAIN…PHS team captain and leading scorer Maquel Robinson (4) drew a lot of defensive attention from Lutcher last week, but he still tallied 19 points in the 48-38 Green Devil district hoop victory.

Class 3-A second-ranked Plaquemine High claimed the outright District 9-3A boys’ basketball championship last week with victories over second-place Lutcher High and St. Charles High.

The victories gave PHS a 28-4 overall record and a league-best 7-1 mark in 9-3A.

Coach Denny Wright’s Green Devils were joined in the honors race by the parish trio White Castle High boys, Plaquemine High girls, and East Iberville High girls all of whom garnered co-championship honors in their respective district races in recent days.

WCHS finished as the co-champs of the District 9-A race along with fellow 7-1 West St. John High, while PHS’ Lady Green Devils claimed co-champ honors by tying St. Charles High with a 6-2 mark in the 9-3A girls’ race. East Iberville matched Ascension CHS in the 9-A girls’ race as they closed as 6-2 co-champs.

In what proved to be the most balanced boys’ hoop league in the area, St. John of Plaquemine finished in an unusual four-way tie for championship honors in the District 7-2A with Livonia, Donaldsonville, and Jeanerette. No champ could be named until a special tiebreaker tournament at neutral site Port Allen High was held Monday night (after article deadline). SJHS was to play Livonia in a 7:30 p.m. game, while Donaldsonville and Jeanerette opened at 6 p.m. The two winners were expected to toss a coin with the winner being the top representative of the 7-2A in the state playoffs. The two tiebreaker winners would be the co-champs of the league. (

Although the Green Devils boys’ 48-38 triumph Tuesday of last week at the Devils’ Den was key to their surpassing the Lutcher Bulldogs, the PHS boys had to beat St. Charles High on the road Friday night to claim the outright title. They did so by turning back the hosting Comets by a 46-36

score.

Here is how the Plaquemine boys reigned in the final week of 9-3A competition (reports on the other parish co-champ clubs can be found inside this section):

PHS-SCHS: The Green Devils rapped up their district crown on the road without great concern. Performances in the second and third quarters of their road game enabled them to coast to victory.

PHS had only a 6-5 lead at the end of one and concern came early that the Green Devils would have another struggle similar to their narrow 28-25 win over St. Charles in Plaquemine a few days prior. Instead, the locals erased all fears by rolling up a 15-8 scoring margin in the third period to add to a narrow 17-14 halftime lead.

Senior Deryl Lewis, who was smothered by the Lutcher defense earlier in the week, managed to get more open shots and ended up leading the PHS offense with a 17-point performance. He was backed by team captain Maquel Robinson, who sank in 11 points. Senior post player Cody Edmond also hit for 11, while Jeremy Jenkins netted 4 coming off the bench. Starters D’Andre Stevens and Ryan Travis combined for 3 more PHS markers.

St. Charles had no players in double figures and were held below 40 points for the second-straight district meeting against PHS.

The Green Devils also won their Junior Varsity game, taking home a 48-29 victory.

PHS-LHS: The Green Devils secured no worse than District 9-3A co-championship honors Tuesday of last week with a 48-38 home court victory over visiting Lutcher High in front of a jam-packed Devils’ Den.

The victory gained sweet revenge for a narrow first-round 54-51 loss to the LHS Bulldogs.

Plaquemine pushed its season mark to 27-4 and its league record to 6-1 on the eve of their district finale at St. Charles High. Lutcher fell to 6-2.

With Lutcher leading 23-22 at intermission, Coach Wright changed things up by telling his Green Devils to match up in a man-to-man defense and beat the LHS boys to the boards. The end result was only four baskets from the field the entire second half for the visitors and a hot shooting performance from the Green Devils in the third period. The PHS, led by senior captain and non-stop hustler Maquel Robinson, converted turnovers, forced the visitors to take bad shots, and hit enough baskets to forge ahead by a 38-29 margin by the end of the third quarter.

PHS also went into a bonus situation at the line in the final period and used free throws and a spread-out offense to run out the clock for the ten-point win. The final basket ended up a crowd pleaser as senior Deryl Lewis brought down the house with a fast-break slam-dunk right before the final horn.

Meanwhile, Robinson was a sparkplug the entire game for Plaquemine. With a determined glare he stole away the basketball several times for key turnovers and hit big baskets on the offensive end. The senior guard ended with a game-high 19 points and as the steal leader in the contest.

Senior Cody Edmond and his inside backup, junior Demarcus Veal, were solid underneath.

Edmond finished with 8 points, while Veal netted 6 and came up with a couple of key defensive plays. Jeff Ricard came off the bench to bury a first-half 3-point bucket that sent the Green Devils ahead at the end of a good scoring run in the second period. He also forced turnovers during his floor time.

Lewis picked up a lot of defensive coverage from LHS and finished with 4 points, while defensive specialist D’Andre Stevens and point guard-senior quarterback Ryan Travis tallied 3 points apiece. Travis was instrumental in slowing down the PHS offense and leading the way to spreading the offense at key times.

Bruce Bejoile was the only Lutcher player in double figures as he led the Bulldogs with 16 points.

Lutcher had 21 turnovers in the second half and took only four shots at the hoop in PHS’ 15-7 scoring run in the third period.

Plaquemine played much better on offense in the second half as they changed their style. The Green Devils had 16 first-half turnovers and hit only 9 of 25 shots from the field. They settled down and won it in the second half.

ADDED BOOST…Senior Jeff Ricard came off the bench in the second period to add a boost to the PHS Green Devil effort in the locals’ 48-38 home court win over 9-3A rival Lutcher High last week in a key league contest.