By: Daniel Green
LAKE CHARLES – Close games tend to come down to who makes the last run.
On Tuesday night, it was the top-ranked Calvin Cougars.
The Cougars broke open a close game with a 19-0 run over the final four minutes of play to knock off fourth-ranked and defending Class C state champion Simpson Broncos, 57-42, at Burton Coliseum.
“Our effort was there, but we kind of got bit late with turnovers and they made the run,” Simpson head coach Jade Losavio said. “We knew it would come down to a late run and unfortunately, it was Calvin.”
The Cougars advanced to the Class C title game against Gibsland-Coleman at 4 o.m. Friday in Burton Coliseum. This is the first title game for Calvin since 1939, some 83 years ago.
Simpson owned control of the game after the first period, 10-5, and owned a nine-point lead before Calvin made a 15-5 run to claim a 20-19 lead at the halftime break.
Both teams picked up the tempo offensively in the third period, which ended with a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Chase Taylor, knotting the game at 35-35.
Simpson worked out to a 39-38 lead about midway through the fourth. But it was at that point where the Cougars turned up the defensive pressure, causing numerous turnovers, changing the momentum of the game in the process.
“We were able to trap and get some easy buckets off of turnovers,” Calvin head coach David Huckaby said. “Once we ramped it up on defense, we were able to play more our style.”
Joseph Adams led Calvin with 25 points and 10 rebounds, while John Griffin added 15 points.
Brayden Cutts paced Simpson with 14 points, while Braxton Basco chipped in with eight points.
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) Boys’ March Madness Basketball State Championship Game will be held at the Burton Coliseum Complex, 7001 Gulf Hwy., Friday, March 11, 2022, at 4 PM. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for $13 each at the door. Tickets are also available online at Ticketmaster.