Tors score winning bucket in closing seconds to hold off Oakdale

Published 9:08 pm Wednesday, November 24, 2021

SULPHUR — Just like the coach drew it up.

Sulphur head coach Adam Coleman detailed the play during a timeout in the closing seconds. The Tors hadn’t had much practice time to work on it but executed it perfectly for three points Wednesday to beat Oakdale 63-62 at the Sulphur Thanksgiving Classic.

With 19 seconds left, senior guard Felipe Michelini inbounded the ball right to the rim, and fellow senior Dawson Ortego put it in to tie the game while being fouled. Ortego drilled the free throw for the lead, and the Tors (3-1) kept the Warriors (0-4) from scoring in the closing seconds.

“That is the second time we have run it, but what is most impressive about that play is with everything that has been going on, we have not had a chance to put that in and practice it yet,” Coleman said. “They took a drawing from the time out and went out there and executed it to a T.

“That shows high IQ. I am incredibly proud of them for the execution on that last play right there.”

Ortego led four Tors in double-figures with 17 points. Michelini, Landon Trahan and Kohl Navarre scored 10 points apiece. Freshman center John David LaFleur had a double-double with 13 points 14 rebounds to help the Tors out rebound Oakdale 30-14.

“This is the most unselfish team that we have had since we have been here in Sulphur,” Colemans said. “Our assist-to-turnover ratio is by far better than it has been over the last two seasons.

“They do a great job of sharing the basketball, and that is what made us better tonight.”

The Tors won their third consecutive game since opening the season with a four-point loss to Episcopal of Acadiana but had four scoreless streaks of 21/2 minutes or more as the Warriors used their defense to cause the Tors to turnover the ball 20 times.

“It is hard to score when you are not getting shots up,” Coleman said. “Our turnovers are lower, but we still have some bad turnovers at bad times. That is something we are going to get better at.”

The Tors took their biggest lead, 38-31, with 7:22 left in the third quarter as an Ortego steal led to a bucket in the lane by LaFleur. The Tors went scoreless for more than 3 minutes, and Oakdale went on an 11-0 run. Khamell Jack hit a three from the corner to give Oakdale a 50-48 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Michelini attacked the lane to put the Tors up 59-53 with 2:25, but again the Warriors reeled the Tors back in as Leon Posey IV scored on a putback for a 61-59 lead with 48 seconds left.

The Warriors opened the game with a pair of 3-pointers by DJ Johnson and Posey to take a 7-0 lead. Posey led the Warriors with 17 points, while Johnson finished with 13 and Jack added 11.

Oakdale (0-4) will host Bunkie (1-4) on Tuesday, while the Tors will travel to Lake Charles to take on St. Louis Catholic (2-1).