LAKE CHARLES — The Northside basketball team survived a second-half comeback attempt from Ouachita Parish to defeat the Lions 70-61 in the first round of the Sunday Players’ Battle in the Lake tournament at LaGrange.
The Vikings (3-0) had four players score in the double digits for a combined 64 points in the game to hold off the surging Lions (2-3).
“It obviously wasn’t our best performance,” Northside coach Ross Rix said. “We’ll take the win, but in order for us to win (Friday) — it doesn’t matter who we play — we have to play much better.”
Northside controlled a majority of the first half, leading 14-7 after the first quarter and taking a 38-25 lead into halftime.
But Ouachita opened the second half with a 9-2 run to cut the Vikings’ lead to just six early the third quarter and stayed on Northside’s heels for the remainder of the game.
“We had a big lead at half, but we gave it up in the fourth quarter,” Rix said. “It was more of us letting up than anything they did. We didn’t do a good job on the defensive glass. They got some easy putbacks, and we were way too sloppy with the ball.”
The Lions outscored Northside 22-15 in the third quarter, cutting the Vikings’ lead to 53-47 going into the final period.
Northside never relinquished its lead. Ouachita got as close as four points, but the Vikings took full advantage of their trips to the free-throw line, hitting 12 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Both teams struggled to find a rhythm throughout in a game characterized by turnovers and almost 50 fouls.
With the win, the Vikings earned a spot in the quarterfinals, where they will play the winner of Landry-Walker and Richwood at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Hamilton Christian Academy.
Before Northside’s game, St. Martinville lost to defending Class 5A champion Scotlandville 67-39.
The Tigers (2-3) only had four players score, and the team shot 18-for-51 from the field and was 0-for-6 from the free- throw line.
The Hornets (3-0) took control early, thanks in large part to a spurt from Scotlandville guard Ja’Vonte Smart in which he scored eight consecutive points to give his squad a 12-4 lead midway through the first quarter.
Scotlandville turn on the jets for the rest of the first quarter to take a 21-6 lead after one quarter before proceeding to coast to the easy victory.
Smart finished with a game-high 31 points, and the Tigers were led by Jayvion Mitchell with 11 points. Davonte Walker and Deantre James off the bench for the Tiger and tallied 10 points apiece.
St. Martinville will take on Lakeview in the consolation round at 4 p.m. Friday at Hamilton Christian.
Senior guards Jacob and Kalob LeDoux led Lafayette Christian Academy to a 72-57 win against Class 5A West Jefferson at Hamilton Christian.
Jacob LeDoux shot 8-for-11 from the field for 20 points, while Kalob LeDoux shot 7-for-18 for a team-high 22 in a contest featuring a combined 46 turnovers.
The Knights (3-0) outscored West Jefferson 19-6 in the first quarter and led by as many as 26 points, but the Bucs (2-2)never let it get completely out of hand.
LCA forward Greg Williams also contributed seven points, six rebounds and four blocks to the winning effort.