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Photo submitted by LAVONYA MALVEAUX

Contributing Writer

It’s now three championships for the program and one for the head coach.

With a nod towards redemption, the North Central High boys’ basketball team successfully delivered a year-long business plan Friday, capturing the Class 1A title the players felt eluded them last season.

The 63-40 victory over White Castle at Lake Charles’ Burton Coliseum also completed a year in which the top-seeded Hurricanes (32-5) achieved a championship trifecta, with St. Landry Parish, district and state titles secured inside the trophy case.

Additionally for the third time in four seasons, the North Central boys’ team won the 1A championship under a different head coach.

NCHS head coach Basil Brown II — in his first season as the ‘Canes’ head coach — was the latest among the program’s revolving head coaching carousel to accept a championship trophy, following the win over No. 6 White Castle (18-13).

Brown seemed to marvel at the accomplishment both for himself and his players.

“There are coaches who go their whole careers without ever winning a state championship and here I am in my first season doing that,” Brown said during the postgame press conference.

For the players who have been in the program during the previous championship runs in 2019 and 2020, Friday’s accomplishment was compensation for an overdue promissory note.

Senior and game MVP Reginald Stoner pointed to last year when the Hurricanes, also seeded No. 1 entering the state playoffs, lost in the semifinals.

That defeat said Stoner and junior Devion Lavergne, served as motivation for the moment they were enjoying late Friday afternoon.

How the Game Unfolded

White Castle devised a deliberate first half game plan that intentionally kept North Central from unleashing any offensive fury.

Although the ‘Canes led 17-12 at halftime, Brown said afterward that White Castle’s offensive style kept North Central from scoring out of transition.

That changed in the second half as the ‘Canes outpointed White Castle 46-28. During the third period North Central notably seized control with a 24-11 run.

Lavergne, who made nine of 17 field goals, scored 22 points in addition to providing 10 rebounds. Stoner, who played his final game for North Central, had a game-high 23 points along with seven steals and seven rebounds.

McKennis Savoie scored 10 along with seven boards.

Overall the Hurricanes helped their offense with 15 steals. White Castle committed 18 turnovers and shot only 27 percent from the field.