BATON ROUGE -- Scoring wasn’t necessarily the problem for the Doyle boys on Tuesday. Getting the ball across halfcourt was the issue.
Facing Jehovah-Jireh’s suffocating full-court press, the Tigers committed a whopping 19 turnovers as they fell to the Warriors, 65-48, at the Baton Rouge Charter Academy to snap a seven-game winning streak.
Doyle (17-15), rated No. 21 in 2A in the latest unofficial power ratings, closes out the regular season at home against Family Christian at 6 p.m. Friday.
But that game wasn’t on the Tigers’ minds on Tuesday. Instead, they were preoccupied with Jehovah-Jireh, rated No. 1 in Division V and perhaps the stingiest defensive squad Doyle has faced all season.
“We’ve played against teams that pressed, but not the continuous pressure all game like (Jehovah-Jireh) had,” Doyle coach Daniel Kennedy said. “I thought we would do good in spurts, kind of make a run at them. But then they would always answer right back.”
Thanks to Doyle’s sloppy play, the Warriors (32-7) generated 22 points off turnovers, including eight in the first quarter. Tristan Jones hit a pull-up jumper for the first bucket of the game, but the Tigers’ next 14 possessions ended in either a turnover (six) or a missed shot (eight) as they fell behind 16-8.
Doyle got off to a slow start in the second quarter, coming up empty on its first five trips down the floor as Jehovah-Jireh built a 13-point lead. With 4:50 left before halftime, Eli Dawsey hit a short jumper to kick-start a 7-2 burst as the scrappy Tigers pulled within seven.
The run didn't last long as the Warriors, like they did all night, quickly answered. Up 22-15, Bryce Johnson hit a 3-pointer from the wing and followed that with a no-look pass to Jakobey Hitchens for an easy layup as Jehovah-Jireh took a 27-17 lead at the break.
Both teams shot better than 50% from the field in the second half, with the Warriors (13-for-23) barely outdoing the suddenly hot Tigers (13-for-25).
But the theme of the night was turnovers, and they ultimately undid whatever success Doyle had. The Tigers turned the ball over nine times in the second half, resulting in 13 points for the Warriors, who closed the third quarter on a 15-7 run to put the game out of reach.
“That’s one of the best teams in the state,” Jones said of Jehovah-Jireh. “They’re the best we’ve played all year for sure. They had a lot of pressure and forced us into turnovers.”
Dawsey and Jones combined for more than half of Doyle’s points (28 of 48), scoring 15 and 13 points, respectively. Landon Wascom added 8 points on four jumpers, and Cameron Jones provided 5 off the bench.
Despite the loss, Kennedy said he was proud of the way his team kept fighting back, never allowing the game to get out of hand until the very end. With the postseason right around the corner, it was just what he was hoping to see.
“That’s why we wanted to schedule this game before the playoffs: It was a good test against a really good, athletic team,” Kennedy said. “We competed well, we played hard and we never backed down from the level of competition.”
JEHOHAH-JIREH 65, DOYLE 48
Doyle 8 9 14 17 -- 48
Jehovah-Jireh 16 11 19 19 -- 65
Doyle (48) -- Eli Dawsey 6-17 1-4 15, Tristan Jones 6-13 0-0 13, Landon Wascom 4-7 0-0 8, Cameron Jones 2-4 0-1 5, Hunter Stovall 1-1 0-0 3, Brennan Harris 1-3 0-0 2, Deon Landor 1-3 0-0 2, Kade Lewis 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 21-50 1-5 48.
Jehovah-Jireh (65) -- Donald Johnson 6-10 3-3 17, Jaron Davis 5-7 1-1 11, Ja’Coby Carter 4-7 3-4 11, Edward Jyles 2-5 3-4 8, Jakobey Hitchens 3-4 0-0 6, Bryson Johnson 1-5 3-4 6, Trenton Payne 1-3 2-4 4, Eric Greensberry 1-2 0-0 2, Timothy Jackson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-47 15-20 65.
3-point field goals -- Doyle 5-16 (Dawsey 2-7, Tristan Jones 1-4, Cameron Jones 1-3, Stovall 1-1, Harris 0-1); Jehovah-Jireh 4-15 (Donald Johnson 2-5, Jyles 1-2, Bryson Johnson 1-3, Carter 0-3, Greensberry 0-1, Jackson 0-1). Records: Doyle 17-15, Jehovah-Jireh 32-7. Up next: Family Christian at Doyle, 6 p.m. Friday.