Waiting for their shot
The seventh-ranked St. Amant Gators improved to 8-1 last Thursday night as they overpowered Broadmoor in the Gold Dome 72-59.
The Gators set the tone early with a suffocating first-quarter defensive performance that resulted in multiple steals and transition points.
The big quarter gave St. Amant a big early lead, but a sloppy and sluggish second half allowed Broadmore to hang around until they finally ran out of time.
Gator head coach coach Gary Duhe was very disappointed with his team's uneven performance.
"We played well the first quarter, and we coasted after that. Good teams can't do that," Duhe said. "I'm very upset about that because we didn't play like a championship team tonight. We did for the first quarter, but to be a championship team, you have to do it for all four quarters."
The first quarter was a great one for St. Amant. One of last year's District 5-5A Defensive MVP's Mason Clouatre sphere-headed a tenacious and opportunistic defensive effort for the Gators.
He had three steals in the quarter alone. He did his part on the offensive end as well as he scored St. Amant's first 10 points and finished with 14 for the period.
Dequincy Deverteuil did his best to keep up as he scored seven to give the Gators a 25-12 lead heading into the second quarter.
St. Amant continued to torch the Boadmoor defense with transition points in the second, and they amassed a commanding 45-24 halftime lead.
However, the Gators struggles came in the second half. They took their foot off of the gas, and Broadmoor took advantage.
They utilized their speed and athleticism in the third quarter and showed their ability to run the floor and get easy points. And behind some hot shooting by Joe Saylr, the Buccaneers won the quarter 19-12 and cut the lead to 57-43.
Brandom Guillory gave St. Amant six quick points in the paint to start the fourth quarter, but the Gators could never pull away.
Josh Rogers kept blazing to the rim for easy lay-ins to keep the score respectable. However, the deficit was far to big for Broamoore to overcome as they fell 72-59.
Saylr led the Bucs with 22 while Rogers added 14.
As for the Gators, they were led by Clouatre who put up 21. Deverteuil looked good with 16, and Jonavon Lewis chipped in with 10.
The win improved St. Amant to 8-1, but the Gators will have to get better at maintaining their intensity throughout.
In their lone loss to Woodlawn, they stormed out to an early double-digit lead and led by eight at halftime. A sloppy second half helped the Panthers claw themselves back in and win a thriller.
Though they beat Broadmoor by 13, the Bucs outplayed St. Amant in the second half and outscored them 35-27.
But Duhe is confident his team will get better in that aspect; it'll just take a little time.
"It's a learning experience for us. We've gone from being the hunter to the hunted," Duhe said. "Now people are coming after us, and we have to be ready to bring it every time we step foot on the floor."
The Gators will host the 5A District Challenge on Thursday. Their opponent will be Central.