The playoff road has been pretty curvy as the 13th-seeded East Ascension Spartans broke a 31-game winning streak against the No. 4 seed St. Paul’s School Wolves on March 1 on the road. East Ascension had to hold off a Wolves’ rally in the fourth quarter to come away with a narrow 71-68 win.

As the Spartans continued their quest for a state championship title in Class 5A basketball, that road came back to Gonzales at Spartan stadium. East Ascension needed a fourth-quarter rally to beat Central Lafourche 71-64.

The Spartans’ Le’Aaron “Lee” Cain led all scorers with 23 points. Cain also led East Ascension in the St. Paul’s game with 34 points and has been the leading scorer for the Spartans all season.

“Lee has been our top scorer all season. I think he could average more points if he let the game come to him earlier,” said head coach Barry Whittington. “A lot of teams try to stop him but not many have been successful.

“The key to our win over the Trojans was the team’s mental toughness; we refused to quit. We weren’t very fluid in the first half on offense and let them get away with a few things on defense, but we came back strong,” Whittington added.

The comeback was accomplished by some things the team learned earlier in the season. “We played West Jefferson in the Spartan Classic and got down early in the game,” the coach said. “We had to fight and claw our way back and lost in double-overtime. That experience helped us Friday night.”

By press time, the Spartans will have traveled to Lake Charles and taken on No. 1 seed Natchitoches Central in the semifinals. Good luck, Spartans.

Baseball action recap

Ascension Catholic Bulldogs: Last week, Ascension Catholic won two of three games. The Bulldogs beat St. Mary’s and St. Frederick, but lost to Sterlington.

Dutchtown High Griffins: The Griffins won all four of their games in the Covington tournament. The Griffins defeated Northshore, Fontainebleau, St. Paul’s and Covington.

Track updates

At the Griffin Relays held at Dutchtown High School, the boys and girls from Dutchtown took top honors.

The Dutchtown boys’ 4x100 relay won their event, with Donaldsonville in third. In the 4x200 relay, Dutchtown was first and Donaldsonville finished in third place. Dutchtown also won the 4x400 relay.

The Dutchtown girls won with 111 points.

A very special deer

Larry Thomas lives in Galvez and is an avid outdoorsman. He loves to fish and he’s pretty good at it. Thomas especially likes to deer hunt. These days his hunting takes place in the delta zone that lies west of Yazoo, Mississippi.

Thomas is a little shy about his skills in deer hunting as he’s killed well over 50 deer (probably closer to 100) since he got his start as a young boy. Near the end of this hunting season, he went on a quest to kill a buck with a special gun.

Larry’s dad liked to take old war guns and modify them for hunting. The elder Thomas took a .303 British Mauser, manufactured for use in World War I, and stripped the wood, cut the barrel down, drilled and tapped it for a scope mount. He proudly presented the gun to his son Brian to use for deer hunting. Brian only got to use the gun for a short time, as he was killed in an automobile accident in 1995 at age 18.

Brian got to kill a deer with the gun but after his death, the .303 Mauser was put away.

This was the gun Larry Thomas wanted to use to kill a deer in his brother’s honor. “It’s still hard to think about it even today because I still miss him so much. We fished a lot together but he only hunted for a couple of years before he died,” said Thomas, “so I was determined to use the gun until I got a good buck with it.”

A week or so before the hunt, Larry called his dad and talked to him about using Brian’s gun to kill a deer and the elder Thomas was all for it. “I asked my dad to order me some ammunition and a scope to put on Brian’s gun so I could take it with me,” Larry said. He sighted the gun in at the deer camp in Mississippi and headed for the woods.

Larry was prepared to stay in it for as long as it took because deer hunting is very unpredictable, but this day was different, almost like it was orchestrated from heaven. “I wasn’t in the stand very long before I started seeing shooter bucks. Three 8-point bucks chasing does came out but I couldn’t get a shot from my vantage point, so I moved my climbing stand to a different tree.”

He heard another deer coming from behind him.

“This big buck stopped five yards from the tree, took a good look at me and ran,” he said. “I made a grunt with my mouth — well maybe not a grunt, but some kind of sound with my mouth and he stopped about 30 yards away. I took a good shot and killed the best deer that I have ever taken. Man, it was awesome.

“I wiped a few tears from my eyes and called my dad before I got out of my climber. We both had a good cry that evening. I started down the tree and said, ‘This is for you, my brother. I thank you Lord for the time that I had to spend in the woods and on the water with you.’ ”

A special deer indeed.

Lyle Johnson covers sports for The Ascension Advocate. He can be contacted at reelman@eatel.net or ascension@theadvocate.com.