Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Bearcats best Bourgeois

Ruston advances to Division I quarterfinals
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Article Image Alt Text

Photo by Josh McDaniel Aidan Anding scored a game-high 23 points in Ruston's win over Bourgeois on Tuesday.

The quarterfinals have become the norm for the Ruston boy's basketball program and the Bearcats kept it that way as No. 8 Ruston (19-9) advanced to the Division I nonselect quarterfinals after a hard-fought 71-45 win over the No. 9 H.L. Bourgeois Braves Tuesday at Memorial Gym.

With the victory, the Bearcats advance to the quarterfinals for the third straight season after doing so just twice over the previous two decades.

"We have high standards. The standard is the standard. It doesn't matter if it was basketball-only kids or football kids, we coach the same way," Ruston head coach Ryan Bond said. "We've taken a certain amount of LHSAA wins but we beat a really good Arkansas team and a really good Texas. Technically 21 wins, third year in a row We've had 20-plus wins, quarterfinals. But we're not done. We're not satisfied. We want to keep going."

Ruston put its foot down in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Braves 16-5 over a four-minute span to stave off a potential comeback from Bourgeois as the visitors cut the deficit to within 11 with 7:40 left in the fourth.

But like most games this season, when Ruston locks in defensively there aren't many teams who can handle the heat. 

"We don't play a lot of zone but I knew the way they didnt have a true post, especially when they're center got in foul trouble, I felt our 1-2-2 was effective against them," Bond said. "They scored some baskets late and we really gave up 35 points."

Bourgeois had over 20 turnovers in the ballgame, most coming in the face of Aidan Anding who finished with a game-high 23 points to go with 5 steals and 5 rebounds.

And as the game wore on, the Braves chucked up long shot attempts that were nowhere near going in, only giving Anding, Joran Parker and Ahmad Hudson room to run in transition off the long misses for easy offense.

Anding scored 11 of his 23 points in the second half, while Parker had 12 of his 18 total points in the second half on transition buckets. Both Anding and Parker each had three three-pointers.

Hudson added 14 points and 15 rebounds, dunking and driving on the receiving end of Anding and Parker pushing the ball up the floor for fast-break points.

"Aidan's our leader. He's a leader on the football field, in the weight room, in the classroom. He's just a dude," Bond said. "I watch him defend and I would hate to have to go against Aidan Anding and him guarding me and chasing him around. He's a tremendous player."

Ruston and Bourgeois were locked in a battle in the first half, with the Bearcats just edging out a 13-10 lead by the end of the first quarter thanks to three-pointers from Joran Parker and Aidan Anding.

The second quarter saw Ruston jump out to an eight-point lead as Ahmad Hudson came alive with the team's first five points of the period on two hard drives to the rim for an 18-10 lead. But the Braves stuck around and cut the deficit to 25-18 as they took advantage of Ruston missing multiple layups.

Like the end of the game rally to seal the win, Ruston's defense stopped Bourgeois from adding more in the first half with aggressive defense.

Bourgeois ended the half with 12 turnovers to 21 points, getting trapped in corners and not surveying the court to catch a leaping Anding or Jamadrion Lillard in passing lanes for steals - steals that helped Ruston push ahead for a 31-21 lead at halftime.

The defensive intensity continued for most of the third quarter as Ruston built a 20-point lead.

Ruston will travel to No. 1 Zachary (25-5) Friday in the Division I non-select quarterfinal.