By Trent Friedel, exclusive to the Times
Saint Mary’s continued their winning ways last Friday at home against district foe Montgomery. The Saint Mary’s Tigers got on Montgomery fast and led 28 – 10 with half of the second quarter clock ticking by. Montgomery would not go down quietly as Coach Mattney brought his team to within nine at the end of regulation. Montgomery falls to Saint Mary’s 60 – 51.
Saint Mary’s improved to 18 -5 on the season before hosting Many Monday night. The freeze warning issued for Natchitoches parish apparently extended into the Saint Mary’s gym.
The previously red-hot home Tigers had difficulty hitting shots. Thomas Howell faced triple team opposition any time the ball entered the low post. Many was very effective at shutting down the big man in the middle. Saint Mary’s won the opening tip from Howell on the jump ball. They cannot score and quickly transition into a 2-3 zone defense in the backcourt. Many sinks a three to start the scoring in the contest and it would be the first of many. Coach Collins calls a timeout with about 5:20 on the clock in the first period to settle his players.
The lead is 7 – 0 favoring Many but Parker Bankston answers the call with a three ball and repeats the feat on the next trip down the floor. That brings Saint Mary’s to within one, 7 – 6. Many would go a 5-0 run making it 12 – 6.
Many Tigers are hitting their three’s and pull to a 10-point lead 19 – 9. Minimal offense boards by Saint Mary’s proves costly. On a bright note, Bankston hits a three-quarter court buzzer shot to end the half and make it a 10-point game 31 – 21. Coming out of the break, Saint Mary’s got the mid-range and outside game working to some extent. It allowed the home Tigers to get within four of the visiting Many Tigers. The Sabine parish Tigers continued to ice down the gym on Saint Mary’s as the temperature dropped outside and the winds howled. Many pulled back to a 10-point lead in the end winning 65 – 55.
Saint Mary’s entered the week with the number 4 seed in Division IV power rankings. The loss will likely drop the Tigers a position or two. Next up for Saint Mary’s is a short trip to Lakeview. The Gators held the number six seed in 2-A as of Jan. 22 with an impressive 23 – 4 record. The Gators have hung a hundred on the score board earlier this season and will be stiff competition for the Tigers. Hopefully the ice will thaw on the hardwood for the Tigers. After the Lakeview game, Saint Mary’s will return to district action at home against University Academy.
They will go on the road facing Northwood-Lena and then district leading Logansport. The Tigers will close out the regular season away across the Red River at Winnfield.