Babacar Pouye of Cate basketball
Babacar Pouye, shown in an earlier game, scored 32 points in Cate's quarterfinal loss at second-seeded Long Beach Jordan. Credit: Gary Kim / Noozhawk photo

Babacar Pouye and Marcus Scudder combined for 60 points to keep Cate in the game with second-seeded Long Beach Jordan before the host Panthers pulled away and ended the Rams’ season, 89-74, in CIF-SS 4A Division boys basketball quarterfinal game on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8 Babacar had huge game with 32 points, 16 rebounds and eight blocks. Scudder scored 28 points.

“It was thrilling and fast, and great basketball was played,” said Cate coach Andy Gil. “The gym at the end could let out a sigh of relief that a school of 250 hung with a school of 2500 and had a chance to win it.”

Jordan outscored Cate 22-14 in the second quarter to take a 48-35 lead at the half. The Rams kept battling, but the Panthers had too much talent and depth.

“Tonight we faced the most athletic team I have ever seen in 13 years of coaching,” said Gil. “They were 10 deep and pressed the entire game and had fresh bodies the entire game. 

“Tonight, the pace was just not sustainable for us. We played them well but they outshot their season stats by an  long shot and forced us into some untimely turnovers.

“There were three times in the fourth quarter we cut the lead to single digits but they would follow with a steal or big three.”

He said Babacar “was an absolute monster” in the game. “He had a handful of people coming up to him after the game and congratulating him.

“Marcus played with supreme confidence at the point guard spot that will carry us for the next couple years. He is only a sophomore.”

Tyler Martinez added 11 points, Jengus Ercel scored seven and Will Vance five to round out Cate’s scoring.

“These three did a fantastic job tonight and deserve lots of credit for their intensity and focus and controlling the defensive boards,” said Gil.

“I could not be more proud. We threw everything at them and made them uncomfortable many times tonight. We had the second-seeded team in our division on their heels in a hostile environment.”

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.