LCCP holds off DeRidder Dragons in Westlake

WESTLAKE — Lake Charles College Prep held off a late rally to edge DeRidder 65-64 Monday in the first round of the Lakeside Bank Holiday Class.

The Trailblazers improved to 2-0, but LCCP head coach Mack Guillory was not satisfied with his team’s performance let a 10-point second quarter lead slip away.

“It was good that we were able to come out with a win, but we still have some things to work on,” Guillory said. “Turnovers have been a problem and defensive intensity has been a problem.

“We have not been defending well. We have been trying to get everyone to buy into the concept of defending and rebounding. We have to establish a foundation of playing hard then defending and rebounding.

Josh Simon hit a 3-pointer with 3:15 left in the second quarter to give LCCP a 31-21 lead, but the Dragons finished out the first half 9-1 run that was helped by five LCCP turnovers.

Kyle Trotter hit an off balance mid-range jumper right before the halftime buzzer to cut LCCP’s lead to 32-30.

DeRidder tied it up twice early in the third quarter before taking its first lead of the second half on a 3-pointer by William Gillard with 4:15 left in the third.

LCCP built its lead back up to 51-44 at the start of the fourth quarter on a pair of free throws by Raymond Guillory, but the Dragons started to crash the lane, trying to use its size advantage. Derron Griffen, who finished with a game-high 21 points including eight in the fourth quarter, hit two buckets from the post to cut the deficit back to three, 53-50.

“We became more conscientious about taking care of the ball and making better decision,” DeRidder head coach Edwin Kelly said. “Our turnover ratio was too high and we were allowing too many second chance points.

“That (lane) became our primary focus — pound it, play that power game, work it inside on them and trying out best to work that whistle to try to get to the free throw line.”

LCCP struggled at the free throw line in the first three quarters, going 6 for 21, but went 7 for 9 in the fourth quarter.

DeRidder’s Kenneth Gooden hit a fade away jumper in the lane with 20 seconds left but Caleb Robinson hit a pair of free throws to help seal the game.

Guillory led LCCP with 16 points and Simon finished with 15.