Mamou High guard Tyrin Williams (2) makes a move against Crowley’s Ja’Colby Byers (11) Monday night. Mamou picked up a huge district win over Crowley, gaining much needed power points. (Gazette photo by Tracey Jagneaux)
Weathering the storm
MAMOU – It took all the internal fortitude that could be mustered, but the Mamou Demons were able to hold off a furious comeback attempt by the Crowley Gents to take a 76-71 District 5-3A win here Monday night. With the win, the Demons were able to extract revenge on the Gents, who defeated Mamou 73-41 earlier this year.
Mamou now moves to 13-7 on the season and 9-3 in league play. The Demons find themselves in third place, one game behind Crowley and Northwest, who are tied atop the district standings with two losses each. Mamou is scheduled to play Eunice on the road tonight. That game is slated to begin after the girls’ contest.
With the two teams so close in talent, the consensus was that the game would be a showdown that could come down to the wire. Proving that consensus to be true, the two teams began the game attempting to put the early dagger in the hearts of their opponents, but neither squad could a way to do that.
The game began on a fast and furious pace and stayed that way throughout the contest. The teams exchanged buckets to start the game, finding themselves tied at 4-4 after the first 2:18.
Mamou’s Jacob Shillow nailed a three-point basket and Tammrick Thomas hit one of two free throws to give the Demons an 8-4 lead at the 4:41 mark. Crowley answered with two quick buckets of their own to tie the game back up.
Once again, the Demons were able to ease past the Gents, knocking down two more from the charity stripe and putting in an easy lay-up to retake the lead. But, Crowley would find a way to get back into the game, scoring on the next two possessions to put the game at 12-12 as the first quarter closed out.
The game tilted back and forth for the first 4:30 of the second quarter, as the two clubs matched each other shot for shot. With the game tied at 20-20, Mamou’s Mason Tinley was dead on from beyond the arc, propelling the Demon offense toward a 16-3 run over the last 2:23 of the quarter.
During that span, Tralon Arvie struck gold from downtown twice, including a last second buzzer beater to give Mamou a commanding 36-23 lead heading into the locker room.
The Demons did not waste anytime adding to their advantage when the third quarter began. Over the first 1:45 of play, Mamou busted out on a 5-2 run, which included a three-point play from Thomas and a three-point bomb from Shillow. With that outburst, the Demons led 44-25.
With their backs to the wall, the Gents found some inner strength and hit the next three buckets, including a three- pointer to cut the lead to 44-32. That offensive spurt gave rise to a renewed defensive effort, allowing Crowley to finish the quarter on a 7-3 run and cutting the advantage down to a manageable 10 points, 49-39.
The momentum that was gained in the final three minutes of the third quarter spilled over to the opening three minutes of the final period. During that stretch, the Gents rolled off nine of the first 11 points scored, to take a big bite into the Mamou lead and putting the score at 51-48.
The Demons, sensing an urgency, took over both defensively and offensively, gaining an 8-4 advantage over the fol lowing 1:19. From that point on, it was a scoring fest on both sides of the floor. Mamou and Crowley exchanged blows like two heavyweight prize fighters for the remainder of the game.
In the end it came down to free throw shooting, as the Gents had to put the Demons on the line to try and stay within in reach. Mamou answered the bell hitting 10 of 14 shots from the charity stripe over the final 1:08 of the game, keeping Crowley at bay and picking up the huge win.
Thomas led all Demon scorers with 15 points. Tyrin Willams added 12 points, while Tralon and JaQuaylon Arvie each chipped in 11 points.