BASKETBALL

Green Devils' cold start stymies rally against Tara

PETER SILAS PASQUA news@postsouth.com

BATON ROUGE – Tara scored 21 of the first 23 points and held off a Plaquemine rally midway through the fourth quarter on the way to a 63-49 District 6-4A victory on Friday night at THS' gym.

The Green Devils (16-9, 3-4), under coach Kirby Loupe, fell into a fourth-place tie with St. Michael the Archangel (11-12, 3-4) behind undefeated Istrouma (18-6, 8-0), Tara (19-7, 7-1) and Broadmoor (7-13, 4-4). Plaquemine hosted the Buccaneers Tuesday before traveling to the Indians on Friday night hosting the Warriors on Tuesday. The Trojans beat Plaquemine 49-43 to open district play.

"You dig yourself that deep of a hole and it is tough to come out of," Loupe said. One of the biggest things we talked about was staying on top of the game so we didn't fall into the same hole we fell into the first time we played them. We battled back but their kids came back and hit big shots down the stretch. The bottom line is we need consistency.

"We turned the ball over entirely too much to have a shot to win. We just have to put it behind us because we have a tough week coming up and it doesn't get any easier. We just have to do a better job of making plays. I think we are a playoff team but we have to win games like these."

Josh Plain led the Trojans with a game-high 25 points including five 3-pointers. Tyron Davis added 18, Kevin Gutter 10 and Shakil Reed nine.

Jamie Lawless led the Green Devils with 12 points including three 3-pointers. Clifton Young added eight, Devante Marshall seven, Davon Godchaux, Louis Conerly and Daryl Tillman each five, Charleston Spears four, Cameron Garner two and Deon Harding one.

Davis' putback put Tara ahead 11-0 to open the contest after his inside move and spin cracked the scoreboard before Plain's baseline jumper and 3-pointer from the left wing. Godchaux's free throw put Plaquemine on the board with 3:21 left in the first quarter.

Gutter's 3-point play off a steal pushed the lead to 21-2 after Reed's and one opened the second quarter. Young fed Marshall inside before the Green Devils made 8-of-10 free throws the remaining of the half to cut it to 23-14.

Young fed Spears inside to open the second half but Gutter's 3-point play increased the lead to 31-18. Reed's layup off a steal pushed the lead to 13 again before Lawless' 3-pointer and Young's putback.

Lawless' trey from the left corner and another Young putback cut the deficit to eight with 1:08 left in the third quarter but Tara took a 45-32 lead into the fourth following Davis' 3-point play.

Plaquemine cut the deficit to six three times in the final frame but could get no closer. Tillman's transition basket after his 3-pointer cut it to 48-40 with 6:25 remaining.

Marshall's putback made it 51-45 with 3:30 remaining after another Lawless 3-pointer had cut it to 49-43 but Plain answered with consecutive treys and the Trojans closed out the game on a 12-4 run.