WILLARD — He struggled offensively, but South Central’s David Lamoreaux was a difference-maker at the defensive end.
An athletic 6-foot-4 forward, Lamoreaux blocked a handful of shots and altered several others as the second-seeded Trojans throttled No. 3 Norwalk St. Paul 47-36 in the Division IV district semifinals Tuesday at Robert L. Haas Gymnasium.
South Central (21-3) will play for its second straight district title at 7 p.m. Friday against top-seeded Lucas. The Cubs advanced with a 72-61 overtime win over Sandusky St Mary in Tuesday’s early game.
Lamoreaux was held scoreless in the first half, but caused all sorts of problems for the Flyers (16-9) at the opposite end of the floor.
“To hold a team like (St. Paul) to 36 points is a testament to these kids and their buy-in to physical defense,” South Central coach Brett Seidel said. “(Lamoreaux) challenged so many shots, he changed so many shots and blocked some shots. He probably was the difference on the interior because they can get to the rim.”
South Central led 29-27 going to the fourth, but St. Paul pulled even at 31-31 on a pair of Nick Winslow free throws with 6:23 remaining. Lamoreaux broke the tie with a 3-pointer off a Simon Blair assist with 6:06 to go. A 3-pointer by Jackson McCormack with 3:57 to play gave the Trojans a 37-31 lead, but St. Paul’s Brandon Furlong knocked down a triple of his own with 2:39 to play to make it 39-36. That would be all for the Flyers, however, as SC closed on a 8-0 run. Lamoreaux put the exclamation point on the spurt with a thunderous two-handed dunk that made it 45-36 with 54 seconds remaining.
“I saw an open lane and I was like, ‘Let’s go,’ ” Lamoreaux said. “It was exciting.”
Blair led South Central with a game-high 16 points. He scored or assisted on all 13 of South Central’s first-quarter points. Lamoreaux added 10, all in the second half. McCormack had nine, while Sam Seidel added eight.
“I didn’t have a good game (offensively),” Lamoreaux said. “Defensively, I was just trying to help my teammates and protect the rim.”
Nick and Nate Winslow scored 10 points apiece for St. Paul. Scott Adelman added nine.