E.D. White hopes to accomplish what Lutcher did a few games ago.
When Lutcher lost Brusly 60-54 in a matchup of a pair of teams seeded in the top five in Class 3A on December 29 that handed the team only its third loss of the season, the Bulldogs set about trying to regroup.
They did so in dramatic fashion, beating rival St. James 67-47 and Berwick 74-28.
“It really helped to refocus us,” Lutcher coach J.P. Piper said of the Brusly loss. “I thought we were good in the rival game against St. James. I don’t think the margin indicated we were in control of the game. We played a lot of kids late. Berwick never really was a game.”
E.D. White goes into Friday’s game in Thibodaux coming off its third loss of the season after a 44-31 loss to Patterson.
“We didn’t play well on Tuesday so I really expect us to come out with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of energy Friday night,” E.D. White coach Jonathan Keife said.
The Cardinals (21-3 overall, 1-1 in District 9-3A) will seek to get rid of a bad taste in their mouths when they take on Lutcher (18-3 overall, 2-0 in district)
“We really were disappointed in the way we presented ourselves on Tuesday. It was not indicative of who we are. We know that. We’re just looking to take one game at a time. We’ve forgotten about it but I think the kids will be hungry to put that game behind us,” said Keife.
The intrigue of the contest will take place in a game being live-streamed on VSN Louisiana. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Jason Duhe will be calling the play-by-play action.
Much of E.D. White’s success has come because of its guard play this season.
“Our three guards, Mason Lawless, Ethan Soignet and Quinn Strander, they have been pretty consistent throughout the whole year. Their decision making has been good enough and it’s allowed us to get into our offense and allowed us to protect the basketball,” said Keife.
“They are all really smart, crafty kids. They have a high IQ for the game,” Piper said of the Cardinal guards.
A number of players have contributed from the forward position, including Colby Guidry, Coleman Faucheaux, Caleb Hagen, and Grant Blouin.
“Our forwards are a little undersized but they do things that they need to do to make themselves successful. We haven’t been overwhelmed on the boards. They battle hard on the boards. They make the open shot. They rebound the ball real well. They run the floor well and they defend,” said Keife.
Piper is well aware of many of the team E.D. White players – at least younger versions of the hoopsters.
“On a personal level, most of those kids grew up in my basketball camp when I was at Nicholls. I know of lot of them and their families. It’s kind of interesting for me to coach against them. I’m really proud of the players that they have become. They are really good high school basketball players but we have to beat them,” said Piper.
“We have to try to make them play our way, which is more transition and up-and-down,” said Piper. “I’m sure, based on the score of that Patterson game, 44-31, they will try to slow it down and control tempo and make it a half-court game.
“It should be a great game from a fans’ perspective. We have to win the battle of who controls the pace and style of the game.”
For E.D. White, it may not be so much Lutcher’s pace but the Cardinals’ own get-up-and-go.
“We’ve gotten off to a slow starts the last couple of games, the last two games in particular. We need to get off to a better start. That will be one of the big things we will focus on – just relaxing and being confident out there and confident in our own ability. Even though we are 21-3, for the last few games we haven’t seen that for whatever reason. We are well prepared, and hopefully, we can take that to get off to a better start,” said Keife.