Plaisance leads Country Day victory

METAIRIE — Scott Plaisance scored 29 points to lead Country Day to a 55-51 overtime victory over White Castle in a Class 1A boys basketball quarterfinal game at Country Day.

The fourth-seeded Cajuns (24-10) will travel to Hammond in the Top 28 Tournament and face Christian Life, a 52-32 winner over Houma Christian.

Plaisance scored seven of the Cajuns’ eight overtime points.

“Plaisance was outstanding tonight,” said Country Day coach Mike McGuire. “Our kids competed all night. On offense we had too many turnovers, but we competed defensively into not letting them get layups.”

Country Day took a 47-46 lead on a free throw by Romin Williams with 23.3 seconds left in regulation. The Cajuns had just three team fouls at this juncture and then began fouling the Bulldogs. J.C. Younger was called for an intentional foul with 7.4 seconds left. Swayne Edwards made one of two free throws to tie the game at 47-47. The Bulldogs turned the ball over with 6.1 seconds left in the game. Williams then drove the length of the court and lofted a floater from 10 feet away, but the ball rolled off the rim at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

Plaisance made a free throw to give Country Day a 48-47 lead with 3:22 to go in overtime. DeAndre Bellock made a layup to give the Bulldogs a 49-48 lead. Plaisance’s three-point play put the Cajuns up 51-49 with 2:35 to go.

Samson Westly made two free throws with 1:16 left to tie the game at 51-51. Plaisance gave the Cajuns the lead for good with two free throws with 32.3 seconds left in overtime.

“You have to give coach McGuire and Country Day all the credit in the world,” said White Castle coach Troy Green. “They just outlasted us and fought harder at the end. But we are leaving with our heads held high. This game came down to who made plays at the end. They did, and we didn’t”.

The Bulldogs (18-11) took a 6-2 lead with 4:49 left in the first quarter. The Cajuns answered with a 12-0 run over the next 6:11 to take a 14-6 lead with 6:36 remaining in the first half. White Castle was held scoreless, until Edwards’ short jumper with 5:18 to go in the second quarter.

Younger hit back-to-back 3-pointers to push the Cajuns’ lead to 20-9 with 4:22 left in the half. Younger finished with 15 points on five 3-pointers.

White Castle closed the second quarter on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 20-17 at halftime. The run consisted of a Bellock 3-pointer, a two-point basket and a 3-pointer by Edwards..

Bellock hit a 3-pointer to start the second half to tie the game at 20-20. Plaisance stopped the run with a three-point play to give Country Day a 23-20 lead with 4:43 to go in the third quarter. The basket ended a scoring drought of 7:39 for the Cajuns.

“They pressured us into some turnovers” said McGuire. “We knew going into this game this wasn’t a 21st-seeded caliber team. They played hard until the end like we knew they would.”

The Cajuns committed 15 turnovers, but only six after halftime.

Country Day made 19 of 36 field goals (53 percent).

The Cajuns made 6 of 16 3-pointers and 15 of 25 free throws.

White Castle made 19 of 60 from the field (32 percent). The Bulldogs made 6 of 26 from 3-point territory and 6 of 11 free throws.

“I’m proud of the way my guards were getting me the ball,” said Plaisance. “Our mindset was to come at them all game long.”

“When I made that foul (the intentional foul at the end of regulation) I was upset” said Younger. “But coach said they might miss and they did. At the beginning Scott was scoring down low and that opened up the game for me to get some good looks at three pointers.”

Bellock led the Bulldogs with 19 points. Edwards had 14 points for the Bulldogs.