By: Jonathan Willard/Student Reporter
District play for the District 9-5A Catholic League of New Orleans began Tuesday, January 6th in the city. For the St. Augustine Purple Knights, district play started against their Gentilly-Rival Holy Cross Tigers. The Knights entered the game with a 3-1 season record. More recently, St. Aug is coming off of promising tournament play throughout of the month of December in the Newman, Country Day, and Sunkist tournaments.
After failing to win a first place trophy in the three December tournaments, the Knights entered the game seeking a critical win to start district play. The first quarter was a great offensive start, but the Purple Knights’ critical coach, Mitchell Johnson, knew his team could improve their defense. The Knights exploded in the second quarter, forcing turnovers, finishing fast breaks, and knocking down multiple three pointers. The Knights’ maintained a double digit lead throughout the second quarter, entering halftime with a comfortable lead thanks to the impressive play from the entire starting five.
The third quarter displayed similar dominance for St. Aug as seen in the first half. Coach Johnson mixed in younger players coming off the bench due to the comfortable lead. No matter the lineup, the Knights continued to dominate. The fourth quarter began with the Knights taking a 30 point lead behind strong defense and accurate three point shooting. The Purple Knights cleared their bench and ended the game, winning by a large margin.
For St. Aug, over 10 players effectively contributed to the great team win. Devante Jones and Caleb Daniels scored at will on several strong drives to the goal. Drew Delatte and Patrick Smith controlled the paint, each scoring several baskets and grabbing several rebounds. Sophomores Sai Fisher and Bryson Celestine controlled the game’s pace and limited turnovers for the Knights while finding teammates open for scores. Sharpshooters Brandon Bode and Quindell Prathers both knocked down several long distance shots to expand St. Aug’s lead while Cedric Jones played nonstop tough defense.
Varsity: 83-60 Win
Junior varsity: 47-31 Win
Freshman: 32-30 Win