The Lely Trojans overcame a unique defensive plan by visiting Seacrest, eventually pulling away in the fourth quarter to take a harder-than-it-looked 43-23 win on Thursday, December 3.
Seacrest Head Coach William Carufe employed a box and one defense to create confusion for the Lely players and to force players, other than the Trojan’s standout JJ Dervil, to beat them. The strategy almost worked.
“The scheme they threw at us was unexpected,” commented Fritz Jacques, Lely’s Head Coach. “They boxed and owned us, and did a couple of versions of the box and one. You gotta remember, JJ is a very hard athlete to stay in front of.”
With Seacrest’s defensive scheming and Lely’s suffocating defense, the score was just 9-6 in Lely’s favor at the end of the first quarter. Dervil had just three points, but much of Lely’s offensive help came from senior sharpshooter Christian Poteau, who hit a pair of three–pointers in the first quarter—and a total of five for the game.
“I’m proud of him,” Jacques said. “Christian Poteau, he’s been working, busting his butt all during the virus. He sends me videos of himself at the park. We’re proud of Christian Poteau for stepping up for us tonight.”
Jacques was also proud of how Dervil’s teammates came through. “I think JJ’s teammates helped him. That’s why it’s a team sport. It’s not a one-man game. You’re only as good as your weakest link. I’m proud of the boys.”
Carufe’s strategy kept the game close. While Seacrest scored only 12 points in the first half, they also held Lely to just 19.
“He’s a very solid coach,” Jacques said of Carufe. “He knows how to play the possession game. His timeouts; the things he threw at us. The coach is amazing. As a matter of fact, he coached me. I have a lot of respect for him and his program, but I’m proud of my boys. Very proud of my boys.”
Seacrest tightened the screws even more on the Trojans in the third quarter, holding them to six points, while scoring nine points themselves.
However, Lely finally figured things out in the fourth quarter and pulled away, scoring 18 points while holding Seacrest to just one basket.
“It was a 20-point game,” Carufe said. “I don’t know if the final score is indicative of the kind of game it was. It got away in the last four minutes. I thought our kids played tough. It was a physical game. We didn’t back down. They played great defense.”
Jacques was also proud of the defensive effort his team put forth. Defense is a trademark of Jacques-coached teams.
“Defense,” Jacques stated. “Lely High School. Everybody knows we play defense at Lely. We take pride in defense. We’re going to give relentless effort on the defensive side.”
Carufe agreed as he said, “They play great defense. They’re so physical—and they’re athletic. We handled the pressure well for most of the game. But when we didn’t handle it well, we paid for it. It was a good game for us. We’ll learn a lot from this. We’ll win a game up the road because of the lessons we learned in this game.
“For us, we’re typically a good-shooting team,” Carufe continued. “I think the effort we put forth on defense wore us down a little in the end. It was about a four-point game and we had a couple good looks we missed. I think if those go down, we have a chance. But when we missed those good looks… eventually they’re so good on defense they’re going to turn you over.”
Seacrest drops to 3-1 with the loss. Lely, who also downed Golden Gate 47-43 on Friday, improves to 3-0.