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Prep Basketball Playoffs

Ruston advances to second round 62- 34 behind Hudson
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Prep Basketball Playoffs

Ruston senior Trey Dimmer scored 15 points in the Bearcats’ first-round win over Barbe on Friday. Photo by Josh McDaniel

With a double-double out of Ahmad Hudson and the dependable talents of Aidan Anding and Trey Dimmer, No. 8 Ruston cruised past No. 25 Barbe 62-34 in the first round of the Division I Non-select playoffs Friday at Scotty Robertson Memorial Gym.

Ruston (18-9) jumped on Barbe with a dominant first quarter that saw the Bearcats’ best outmatch Barbe on the offensive glass, in transition, and in ball movement — giving Ruston a 17- 5 lead after the opening frame. Hudson scored 8 in the quarter to go with 4 blocks, while Barbe had two field goals as a team. Dimmer hit two three- pointers in the opening minutes for Ruston as well.

Barbe began to turn the ball over in the face of Anding and the Bearcats’ man defense, limiting nearly every offensive look Barbe tried to set up, as Anding, Hudson, and Joran Parker held strong in their positioning and either forced or scored off turnovers to give Ruston a 31-13 lead at halftime. Barbe would finish with nearly 20 turnovers on the night.

“I’m happy that we won. It was good, not great — I think a byproduct of being off six days,” Ruston head coach Ryan Bond said. “I think part of it was it was a familiar opponent and we knew they were senior-heavy last year and they graduated several kids, so as much as we coach against it and preach against it, esepcially after you start off the game so well, things were ‘easy’ on the offensive and defensive end. I’m happy but we’re going to have to figure it out before Tuesday night.”

Ruston showed signs of slippage early in the third as Barbe went on a 9-3 run over a fourminute span, cutting the deficit to 37-22 with just over 3 minutes left in the frame. After Bond called his group together for a full timeout, the Bearcats stopped the rally in its tracks with aggressive attacks to the basket that sent Hudson, Jamadrion Lillard, and Zhy Scott to the foul line to help extend the lead as outside shots weren’t falling for Ruston.

Between the free throws and continued turnover issues for Barbe, Ruston ended the quarter on an 8-2 run to lead 45-24 entering the fourth. Ruston went on to outscore Barbe 17-10 in the fourth, with Bond letting his reserves finish the job.

Hudson finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds, and 6 blocks — his fourth game of at least 15 points and 15 rebounds during his freshman season.

“ He’s a special talent,” Bond said of Hudson. “ The guys know how important he is. He’s an important part, not only on the offensive end but the defensive end. I’ve said it before that we can get out there and we can pressure and we know he’s going to clean up a lot.”

Anding ended his night with 10 points — 0-of-7 from three — but created 5 steals and 5 assists, earning praise from Bond for continuing to be an anchor for the team even on a rare cold shooting night.

“I wish we could clone Aidan on the defensive end,” Bond said. “We’ve got good defenders, but Aidan’s another level defensively. He’s playing at a really high level. He didn’t score a lot of points tonight like he did last Saturday but he played awesome.”

Dimmer added 15 points in the win as well.

Ruston hosts No. 9 H.L. Bourgeois for the second round tonight at 6 p.m. in Memorial Gym.