Panthers run past Cougars in district opener

Brian Osborne (1) goes up for a shot during Monday night’s District 2-A opener for both Cedar Creek and Lincoln Prep (Photo by Darrell James).

by Malcolm Butler

Cedar Creek knew it had a tremendous challenge in its District 2-1A opener as the Cougars faced Lincoln Prep at the Ruston Sports Complex Monday night.

And early on the Cougars met that challenge.

Creek (6-9, 0-1) jumped out to an early 7-2 advantage and led 11-10 late in the first quarter before Lincoln Prep (12-4, 1-0) utilized its full-court press to race past and run away from the Green and Gold in a 74-29 victory.

“We got off to a good start,” said Creek head coach Lance Waldron. “And then we just got out of sync. We did get better tonight. If we didn’t keep score, I’d like to play this team every day (because they help you get better). But you do keep score, and it would demoralize you to do that.”

Brandon Heard scored 15 points and Brayln Mayfield added 10 points for head coach Antonio Hudson’s Panthers.

“We defended pretty good and we ran the floor in transition pretty good,” said Hudson. “I think when we defend at a high level and push the ball, then we usually play pretty good and are a tough team to beat.”

Lincoln Prep used a 30-point second quarter and 29-1 run covering part of the first and second quarters to build a 46-19 halftime lead.

“Our turnovers really hurt us,” said Waldron. “We knew going in that we couldn’t turn it over. We can’t afford to turn it over against anybody, but much less this group because they feed off of them. They got a belly full tonight.”

Carter Hill led Creek with nine points while Davis Walsworth added eight points for the Cougars.

“We have grown from earlier in the season,” said Waldron. “We have played some teams like this early in the year. I think we learned from those games that helped us prepare for this. I think we have improved although it doesn’t show it on the scoreboard tonight.”

Hudson emptied his bench in the fourth quarter, allowing his reserves to see some playing time.

“It builds up confidence,” said Hudson of the reserves playing. “In the playoffs sometimes you get in a deep run on the road and someone gets in foul trouble or you have an injury. Some guys will be put in situations that maybe they aren’t used to. So it’s always a good thing when you can get those guys playing time. Plus, it makes the moms and dads smile.”

Creek hosts Claiborne Christian tonight at 7 p.m. while Lincoln Prep plays St. Frederick’s Friday.