Louisiana continues magical run to tournament title game

Posted: Jan. 25, 2013 3:39 am Updated: Feb. 15, 2013 4:15 am


There's little doubt Louisiana will be the underdog in the Bowling Green Tournament boys championship game Saturday night.

But the way the Bulldogs have played this week, don't count them out.

Louisiana, the No. 6 seed, pulled off its second upset Thursday night by beating second-seeded Elsberry 47-44 in the semifinals.

The Bulldogs, who knocked off No. 3 Silex 54-46 Tuesday in the first round, will play in title game for the first time since 1997. Louisiana (11-6) will play top-seeded Winfield at 7 p.m. Saturday.

"We didn't play particularly well against Silex, just well enough to get the win," Louisiana coach Derrick Branstetter said. "The second half tonight was one of the best offensive games we've played all season."

Louisiana trailed Elsberry 26-14 at halftime and were still behind 40-35 after the third quarter. Kenny Lesley, the Indians' 6-foot-10 center, was called for a charge early in the fourth quarter and had to sit out for a three-minute stretch.

That's when Louisiana made its run.

The Bulldogs took the lead for good with Tristan Castiglia's layup with less than three minutes left. Zach Martin sank two crucial free throws a minute later and Greg Pitzer iced the victory with two free throws with 30 seonds left.

"Those were big free throws," Branstetter said. "We had a lot of big plays in the fourth quarter. We did a good job sharing the ball and putting together a good offensive performance."

Brendan Ross scored a game-high 14 points for Louisiana.


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