Another Tors drought ends, will make first quarterfinals appearance since 2010

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, March 1, 2023

SULPHUR — The Sulphur Tors ended another long drought Tuesday night.

They ended a 12-year postseason win drought last week, and now they are going back to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010 after beating No. 11 St. Amant 72-57 in the Division I non-select regional playoffs.

“This is something that we put on our schedule at the beginning of the year,” Sulphur head coach Adam Coleman said. “We dream big here.

“That is a motto and a slogan of ours here. No way we get to this point if those guys didn’t envision this from the very beginning, so we believed we would be here.”

The No. 6 Tors will travel to play No. 3 Ponchatoula (26-7) in the quarterfinals. The Green Wave beat No. 19 West Monroe (17-17) 83-46.

The Tors (27-8) exploited the Gators (24-13) in the paint to turn a two-point first-quarter deficit into a 35-20 halftime lead. The Tors kept feeding the ball to senior forward Zachary Bates, who scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half. Bates added 13 rebounds for a double-double.

“There was something we picked up on film,” Coleman said. “We felt like we were the more physical team.

“We felt like we could take advantage of some inside presence. Zachary is such a tough mismatch. He is a young man that can get down there and body you up and score the ball at the rim. And he can stretch you with his perimeter game. We had four or five set plays that we wanted to go right at him tonight, and he came through clutch for us.”

Ian Malone led the Tors with 23 points, Zavien Trent had 16 points and nine assists, and Kohl Navarre posted 13 points and eight rebounds.

The Tors built their lead to 25 points in the third quarter but had to slow the pace of the game down because of foul trouble. The Gators went on a 17-5 run to cut the Tors’ lead to 65-57 with 1:54 left in the game, but the Sulphur made 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

The Gators hit 10 3-pointers led by Letavian Crockett, who had six and finished with a game-high 26 points.