Champions are being crowned all across the state this weekend with the football playoffs coming to a close, and the same applied to the hardwood as well.
Two of New Orleans’ top tournaments came to an end on Saturday with St. Augustine besting Lee, 56-43, in the Allstate Sugar Bowl CYO Classic while Sophie B. Wright outlasted Crescent City, 79-76, in not one, but two overtimes.
The Purple Knights’ (9-1) win secured the first CYO championship for St. Aug coach Mitchell Johnson and senior point guard D’Mari Wiltz earned MVP honors. He scored a team-high 16 points while senior guard Jaron Pierre and junior forward Jason Malbrue also added 14.
“Me and my team played together the whole tournament,” said Wiltz of a tournament run where the only bad news was an injury to Malbrue in the third quarter of Saturday’s championship. “Usually we depend on Jason to rebound, block shots and do a lot of things for us. Coach said we had to step up and play Jason’s role as well as ours.”
Meanwhile in Uptown, Sophie B. Wright (4-2) needed a game-high 31 points from senior point guard Scorey Holmes in addition to what amounted to an extra quarter to put Crescent City (7-3) away.
It was a physical matchup with over 40 fouls called in the game, and the majority of both overtime periods as well as the last few minutes of the fourth turned into a free throw shooting contest.
The Warriors surged ahead to start the second overtime with two free throws and a 3-pointer by Holmes to take a 74-69 lead. They also led 76-70 with 1:49 left after a steal and layup by Holmes, but Crescent City never game in despite losing their top two players to fouls in regulation in Byron Joshua and Jordin Farrell.
The Pios came all the way back to tie the game at 76-76 with 30.3 seconds left after two free throws by freshman forward John Kelly, but Wright was able to get a couple of stops while knocking down two more free throws to hold on for the win.
“I knew I had to score the ball for my team tonight,” said Holmes, who is now one of the elder statesmen of the team following the graduation of three Division I players last year. “I’m in a new role and I’m tired, but I had to fight through it. We played as a team, played good defense and put the ball in the basket when we needed to.”
“He played for three years with some great players and this is his year to actually become the leader,” Wright coach Jason Bertrand said of Holmes. “For a long time he was the guy putting gas in the car and now he’s actually driving the car.
“I also just want to thank all the teams that came down and participated,” Bertrand added. “We had a really special group here this year.”