Jeremy Touchet has been the heart and soul of the Catholic High boys’ basketball team the past three seasons.
He was a big reason the Panthers stayed in contention until the final game for the District 6-2A championship despite the loss of the team’s leading scorer from the previous season, and earned District MVP honors in a vote by the coaches at the end of the season.
Touchet also has been selected the Most Valuable Player for The Daily Iberian’s Best of the Teche Small School Basketball Team after helping CHS challenge for the district title in a rebuilding year, beating out several outstanding nominees for the honor.
Touchet is joined on the first team by Dunante Charles and Jason Pierre of District 6-2A champion West St. Mary; Edward Jordan and Jahori Johnlewis of Jeanerette, which tied for second place in District 6-2A with CHS; Je’Dan Jacob of Loreauville and Bo Barrilleaux of Hanson.
The team is comprised of players selected by the sports staff of The Daily Iberian from those schools in the newspaper’s coverage area in classes C through 2A. Coaches nominate players for the honor.
A separate team was selected for the large schools in the area in classes 3A-5A.
“He was a coach on the floor,” CHS coach Josh Guilbeau said of Touchet. “He showed good leadership skills and generated offense for the rest of the team.”
On the defensive end, Touchet also stood out, guarding the other team’s best player, Guilbeau said. Touchet averaged 15 points and four assists per game.
Charles, a junior point guard, led WSM at 15.5 points per game with four assists and three steals a contest in earning first-team All-District honors.
“Donny is a guard that can create his own shot,” said WSM coach Gary Burrell, who was chosen as the Coach of the Year for the small school team. “He makes our team go. Everything goes through him. He’s been a part of West St. Mary basketball since his freshman year.”
Pierre, who was second in MVP voting in the district, joined the team in January and went from a 6-10 team without him to a 6-2 team with him. The 6-foot-4 junior center has a wing span that makes him seem about 6-6, his coach said. He averaged 12.5 points and eight rebounds a game and was a first-team All-District pick.
“He was the missing link,” Burrell said. “Just his offensive and defensive presence made us a better team.”
Burrell said WSM was in a lot of ballgames early but couldn’t put teams away. That changed once the everyone figured out their roles, and Pierre rejoined the squad.
“Next year is going to be the first season in quite a while where we’re a senior-led team, so hopefully that experience is going to pay off for us next year,” Burrell said.
Jordan, a 5-7 senior guard, earned first-team All-District honors after averaging 15.5 points, five steals and four assists a game for Jeanerette. He also was considered for Best of the Teche MVP honors. Johnlewis, a 6-5 center, averaged 15 points, five rebounds and three blocks a game and was a second-team All-District pick.
Jacob averaged 22 points and four rebounds a game as a junior for Loreauville, which won 15 of its first 20 games before falling off toward the end of the season for an 18-11 overall record.
Barrilleaux averaged 14.6 points, four rebounds and three assists a game for Hanson.
Honorable mentions went to Cole McKay, Mason Shuffler, Dom Berthelot and Danny Alhawalia of ESA; Marvin Strawder, Lance Howard and Jayon Williams of Centerville; Brennan Young of Hanson; Charles Bernard, Semaj Flugence and Brandon Potier of Catholic High; Tyrese Batiste of Jeanerette; Christian Barard of West St. Mary; and Joshua Simon of Loreauville.