THE POST-SIGNAL / Jason Faul
Notre Dame’s Parker McNees pulls up for a shot Tuesday during the Pios’ 49-43 overtime victory over Lafayette Christian Academy.
Notre Dame tops LCA in overtime thriller
A simple halftime adjustment proved to be key for the Notre Dame Pios Tuesday in their District 6-2A showdown at Lafayette Christian Academy.
The Pios were sluggish on the offensive end in the first two periods and trailed 21-13 at the break.
But in the second half, the Pios’ offense came to life and the guests rallied to tie the game at 37-37 before taking a 49-43 victory in overtime.
“In the first half, they (LCA) attacked us and we had 10 turnovers,” said ND coach Duke Daigle, whose team improved to 10-2 overall and 1-0 in league play with the victory.
“In the second half, we created a little bit more space and we wanted to attack them in the gaps. We attacked them in those gaps and had a lot of success with it.”
The second-half surge was due to the Pios adjusting to the Knights’ pressure.
“You can watch film, but until you see it in person, the speed and quickness and their length, it takes you a little time to get used to it,” said Daigle, whose team turned the ball over just once in the second half.
Christian McNees helped spark the rally in the third quarter by scoring 11 points. Parker McNees also knocked down a big 3- pointer and Teddy Menard added a bucket to help trim the lead to 31-29 entering the fourth quarter.
Parker McNees gave the Pios just their second lead of the game with 5:34 left in the fourth period on a driving layup that put the guests up 33-31.
The Pios extended their lead to four before the Knights rallied to tie it at 37-37 at the end of regulation.
“We really got off to a slow start and we could have hung our heads, but the kids fought and clawed their way back into it in the third quarter,” said Daigle. “The kids really gutted it out and we played really well in the second half and gave ourselves a chance to win.”
The Pios regained the lead almost immediately in the overtime period when Christian McNees sank a pair of free throws.
The Knights got back within one on a free throw from Kobe Thibodeaux before Parker McNees hit a driving layup. He then added a pair of free throws to give the Pios a 43-38 advantage with 1:50 remaining.
The hosts cut the lead back to two (45-43) with 25 seconds remaining, but the Pios iced the game with four straight free throws.
The Pios went 13-for-16 from the charity stripe overall and made all eight of their attempts in the overtime period.
The defensive effort put forth by the Pios was also key in the victory.
The Knights were averaging nearly 60 points per game and standouts Elijah Pate and Kam Williams were each scoring in double figures per outing.
That duo was limited to a combined 10 points Tuesday.
“Teddy Menard and Christian McNees did really well (defensively) against two of the better players in the state,” said Daigle. “Our goal was to hold LCA under 50 in order to have a chance and we did that.”
Beating LCA is a task in itself, but beating the Knights on their own court is something very few have accomplished over the years.
“You know, trying to beat LCA at their place is kind of like trying to beat Alabama in football at their place,” said Daigle. “Since the Byron Starks days, they haven’t lost too many games in that gym, so for our kids to go in there and pick up a win is huge.”
The McNees were once again the leaders for the Pios. Parker finished with a game-high 21 points to go along with nine rebounds and four assists. Christian added 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
In addition, Menard and Chris Schmid each scored five points and Zach Lamm recorded six rebounds and three assists.
The Pios return to league play Friday with a road contest at Welsh.
Lady Pios fall short
In the opening game of the night, the LCA Lady Knights had four three players score in double figures in a 73-28 thumping of Notre Dame.
The Lady Pios (6-8, 0-1) trailed just 15-9 after the first quarter before the Lady Knights began to pull away in the second frame.
LCA’s Jada Richard poured in 11 of her game-high 24 points in the second quarter to help the hosts extend their lead to 40-15 at the break.
The Lady Knights outscored the Lady Pios 33-13 in the second half.
Gabby Cates and Maggie Chiasson led the Lady Pios with eight and seven points, respectively.
Kelsey Broussard added five points, Margaret Schmid and Jeanne Clare Schmid each scored three and Mary Ellen Hebert finished with two.