NISH too much for WCHS in final

PETER SILAS PASQUA news@postsouth.com
White Castle’s Robert Franklin drives baseline against New Iberia’s David Hardin in the first half of the Yellowjackets’ 47-24 championship game victory.
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

WHITE CASTLE - New Iberia held host White Castle to just two points in the first quarter and never looked back on the way to a 47-24 victory in the championship game of the 2012 White Castle High School Boys Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night at WCHS' gym.

The Bulldogs (2-1) opened the tourney with victories over Livonia 63-23 on Monday and Thibodaux 53-52 at the buzzer on Tuesday to advance to the final. The championship pitted two former White Castle players under past coach Ronald Johnson in the Bulldogs' Troy Green and Yellowjackets' Todd Russ, whose career spans briefly allowed them to play together on 1992's state runner-up team after claiming the championship the previous year.

"Our goal is to be playing in March," Green said. "Right now, it is early in the season and to be honest, we don't want to be hitting on all cylinders, yet. Our goal is to be playing at that level come district and playoff time.

"At this point in the season, we are trying to gel and learn each other after getting a lot of people just in from football. Coach Russ does a good job with New Iberia. They are a 5A ball club and a good team beat us. We know each other well and a lot of our philosophy comes from Coach Johnson but he has branched off to do is own and so have I."

Dillon Mandaville led New Iberia (3-0) with a game-high 20 points. David Hardin added 10 and Rahmad Paul and Damaune Dugas each had seven. The Yellowjackets defeated Istrouma 50-49 and Brusly 55-40 to advance to the final.

"It is bittersweet because this place has a lot of fond memories," Russ said. "You come back and get to see a lot of your old teammates and friends. I know White Castle is going to be good. Troy is going to do a good job over here and they are going to improve as the year goes on.

"We are a defensive team so everything starts for us on the defensive end. We knew they had some key guys, so our whole objective was to try and get somebody else to beat us."

White Castle's leading scorer DeAndre Bellock was held to two points after scoring 22 and 21 in the Bulldogs' first two games.

Samson Westley led the Bulldogs with six points. Marcellis Coleman added four, Swayne Edwards and Jacory Washington each three and Robert Franklin, Moses Young and Orthello Batiste each two.

Bellock's dunk off a steal put the Bulldogs on the board but it was his only basket of the night as White Castle didn't score again in the first quarter. Medger Davis fed Mandaville inside to make it 7-2 going into the second quarter.

Coleman's putback after Young fed Franklin in transition following Westley's step back jumper cut it to 14-8 but Mandaville's 18-footer extended the lead to 18-11 at halftime.

Edwards fed Young inside to open the second half but Mandaville answered with a 3-pointer. Franklin's dish to Washington inside cut it to 30-17 going into the fourth quarter after another trey by Mandaville from the left corner.

Paul's pull up jumper gave the Yellowjackets their biggest lead during a 12-0 run that included Mandaville's dunk off a steal after Westley pulled up in the lane. Washington's free throw reflected the final tally after his layup off a steal ended the run.

Against Livonia, Franklin added 10, Young nine, Westley seven, Omari Haggens six, Edwards three and Batiste, Shawn Williams and JaTyrie Carter each two.

Bellock had 14 in the first quarter, Young nine in the third and Westley seven in the fourth.

Against Thibodaux, Franklin added 14, Edwards and Westley each eight and Williams and Harold Zachary each one.

Franklin had 12 on four three-pointers in the first quarter, Bellock had nine in the third and eight in the fourth, including the game-winning trey, and Westley had six in the fourth.

White Castle also fell to Donaldsonville 56-47 on Monday. Edwards and Bellock each had 13, Franklin nine and Young, Westley and Williams each four. Leandre James led the Tigers with a game-high 15.

The Bulldogs began play in the Brusly Tournament on Wednesday and will host McKinley on Tuesday.

The Lady Bulldogs, under coach Tammy Pierce, opened the season with a victory over Westgate 29-28 on Monday in the Breaux Bridge Tournament before falling to Northwest 50-27 on Tuesday.

White Castle is led by Erica Jones, Skylar O'Bear, Shylar O'Bear, Alaina Williams and Blessing Franklin.

The Lady Bulldogs began hosting a tournament Wednesday after falling to Redemptorist 51-49 on Monday and will travel to Episcopal Dec. 3.