The Brusly Panthers basketball team had a week filled with ups and downs last week.
After an 86-54 early week loss to Lafayette Christian on Monday, Brusly hosted a tournament, where they advanced to the championship round where they were sunk by cross-parish rival Port Allen.
During their first game of the tournament, Brusly played East Iberville, beating them 41-38. Tyree Johnson led the team with 11 points while Jerrell Dominique added eight in the Panther win.
Brusly’s stout defense brought the team to victory, as only five E. Iberville players scored, two players only scoring one point.
The Panthers defense remained strong in their second showing of the tourney, as they won in another close matchup, beating St. James 40-32.
Travin Thibodeaux scored a game-high 11 points, while Carlsel Alexander and Robert Taylor both tallied eight points.
“Now we have our full team back – a few guys came off the football field. They have contributed and will help in places that we were weak at before. Now we’re a little stronger,” said Brusly Head Coach Harold Boudreaux. “We’ve just got to get our legs back and get back into basketball mode.”
In their third and final game in their tournament, the Panthers “came out flat,” according to Boudreaux.
“We started out slow, (Port Allen) went up by 18 before we really got it together,” he said.
In their second match up in as many tournaments, Brusly again had no answer for Port Allen’s strong offense, as Pels’ Nigel Allen and Nick Parker scored 23 and 21 points in the game, respectively.
Thibodeaux scored the game-high 27 points, but it was not enough to earn the Panthers the victory, as they were sunk, 74-62.
“Port Allen is doing some really good things right now, and you’ve got to give them credit for that,” said Boudreaux. “Even though you may not be seeing exactly what you want, the fight that our kids have within it shows. They’re giving their all and all they can do is get better.”
Coach Boudreaux said that he has been impressed with Thibodeaux’s play, as he has averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds and 7 blocks a game.
“He’s doing everything we ask of him to do,” he said. “At the other positions, we have guys who are still developing, still evolving. I’m having to change up the lineup a lot because it’s not truly established yet. It’s tough. Those guys don’t have enough playing time under their belt from last year and the year before that.”
Boudreaux said that the team lacks experience, as Thibodeaux is the only starter from last year as Brusly had five graduating seniors last year, four of whom were starters.
“I’m satisfied for right now, we just got to keep working,” he said, adding that the team’s defense must continue to strengthen and help them win games.
Boudreaux said that he is happy with the Panthers’ showing in their tournament, but they will need to keep getting better if they want to compete in what many consider one of the toughest districts in the state.
“We’re still working at everything,” he said. “We have a tough schedule with one of the toughest districts in the state of Louisiana, it’s one day at a time. Work and get better, that’s all we can do.”
Monday, December 2nd, the Lady Panthers basketball team traveled to St. Joseph's Academy to play the Redstickers. Madison Laprarie gained 16 points while Caitlyn Williams chalked up 15 of her own, but the Lady Panthers fell short of victory with a 55-47 loss.
After their loss to St. Joseph Monday, the girls came back to win 54-39 Wednesday against White Castle. Madison Laprarie was the highest scorer of the game, earning 21 of Brusly's points
Claire Chenevert contributed to this article.