Scotlandville and McKinley, the top two seeds at the East Baton Rouge/Bob Pettit Coca Cola boys basketball tournament, each turned back pesky underdogs Thursday evening to advance to the championship game.
Top-seeded Scotlandville trailed after one quarter before taking control of its semifinal game against No. 4 Zachary. The Hornets heated up after that, and pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 69-44 win.
No. 6 Broadmoor trailed second-seeded McKinley by two points after three quarters. Like Scotlandville, the Panthers turned up their production in the fourth quarter and defeated the Buccaneers 68-55.
The championship will be played Friday at Family Christian Academy with tip off scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The game is a rematch of last year’s Division I Select semifinal contest, which Scotlandville won 47-44 on its way to winning the state title.
McKinley was the tournament’s 2016 champion. Scotlandville, which played in a national tournament in Atlanta last year, was not in the 2016 East Baton Rouge field.
“We’re the defending champion so we’ve got something to play for, and its a rematch from the playoffs,” McKinley coach Harold Boudreaux said. “We need to come ready to play, bring the same energy and be ready for a good basketball game.”
Scotlandville 69, Zachary 44: Calvin Adams scored five of his team-high 18 points in the first quarter as Zachary took a 13-11 lead after one quarter.
LSU signee JaVonte Smart took control in the second quarter for Scotlandville (13-3). Smart made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points as the Hornets outscored the Broncos 20-8 to take a 31-21 halftime lead.
Zachary (7-10) led 18-16 early in the second, but Scotlandville forced five turnovers during a 12-0 run to take the momentum away.
“He’s the captain of the vessel,” said Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample, who also credited his bench. “We got in a little foul trouble early, but our guys did a good job. It enabled us to go up by double digits at halftime.”
Smart finished with 26 points. He got support from Tai’reon Joseph and Jonathan Horton, who each scored 12.
Zachary trailed 45-36 after it scored the first four points of the fourth quarter before Scotlandville got hot for a closing run. Along with five 3-pointers, the Hornets made 10 of 12 shots in the quarter.
McKinley 68, Broadmoor 55: The Buccaneers (12-8) stood toe to toe with the Panthers for three quarters, when there were nine ties and 10 lead changes.
McKinley (13-5) led 45-43 entering the fourth quarter, but moved out to a 50-43 lead on McKaleb Kemp’s 3-pointer and Tyrece Radford’s dunk. The Panthers controlled the game the rest of the way, and twice built leads of 13 points in the final two minutes.
Radford had 19 points to lead the Panthers. Nigel Jones led three Bucs in double figures with 15.
“The kids came out with more energy,” Boudreaux said. “They realized we needed to step it up compared to last night. They did what I asked them to do — play hard and compete.”