Tough start hurts Raiders in loss to Pope John Paul II

Published 2:55 pm Friday, February 2, 2018

SLIDELL — Pine’s Raiders got off to a tough start, in a 64-41 loss to Pope John Paul II in a District 9-2A road game Tuesday.
The Raiders were hurt by forced and unforced turnovers. Pine got down 9-0 early and 21-3 after the first quarter.
Pope John Paul got on the board after Johnathan Bulot made a steal in the backcourt and got fouled on the ensuing shot. Bulot hit 1-of-2 from the line, but the Jaguars got the rebound and Bulot hit a shot to make it 3-0 with 7:09 left in the first half. The Jaguars recorded a steal and Christian Hasenkampf made the layup for a 5-0 lead. Sean Price hit for two and Price posted a backcourt steal and was good on the layup to make it 9-0 with 5:15 left in the first quarter.
Pine’s Jordan Anderson made a steal and got fouled on the shot. He split the free throws, trimming the lead to 9-1.
But Pope John Paul II scored the next six points. Bulot hit a reverse layup, Cole Canulette pulled down an offensive board and hit the put back and Bulot made a layup and it was 15-1 with 2:02 to go.
Pine trailed 21-3 after one quarter.
“That’s been us all year,” Pine coach Drew Meyerchick said. “We show signs of goodness and we show signs of responding, but it’s like we get hit in the mouth and we fold up. It’s like I was explaining to you the last game I saw you, when you get hit in the mouth and fold up — that was a prime example of it tonight — we allowed it start off 9-0 and it’s like we dropped ourselves into a hole.
“I was trying to explain to them, ‘look, you’ve gotta understand, it’s a game of runs,’ and we didn’t allow ourselves to recover. At the end of the day, if you start feeling sorry for yourself, this is what happens. We felt sorry for ourselves. Even at halftime, I had a lot of heads hanging and at the end of the day, it’s like I told them, ‘there’s not a button I can press to make you go harder. You’ve got to choose to go harder’ and we didn’t pick it up tonight.
“We couldn’t score the ball. We didn’t push. When we would rebound the ball, our idea was to push it and instead we allowed them to get back and set up on defense. We’re more athletic than them, but they’re a very good fundamentally sound team. When you allow a fundamentally sound team to set up, they’re smart enough to get in the right spots defensively and that gives them the advantage.”
Meyerchick also noted that his team had a lot of turnovers and unforced errors.
The Raiders were never able to get the deficit below double digits. They trailed 36-15 at halftime and 52-27 after three quarters in the 64-41 loss.
Markell Cotton led the Raiders with 16 points.
Anderson and Chance Woodward posted seven each while Koby Miller had five, Tristan Jones added three, Zavier Elzie had two and Larry Williams added one. Woodward and Miller hit a 3-pointer each for Pine.
Pope John Paul II’s Bulot and Hasenkampf tied for the team lead with 16 points each.
Prince Woods recorded nine points while Price had seven, Ethan Abbenante and Daniel Ruffin tallied four each and Lance Chetta, Canulette and Ethan Sandrock added two each.