With his star player sidelined by injury, Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample had other players step up as he reached his 500th coaching win with a last-second 60-58 victory over The Dunham School on Tuesday at Scotlandville.
Dunham’s Jordan Wright hit a baseline 3-pointer off an inbounds play with 4 seconds remaining to tie the game at 58. Scotlandville quickly inbounded the ball to sophomore guard Tai’reon Joseph before midcourt. Joseph dribbled up court and converted a difficult running shot in the lane for the final margin. After two timeouts, Dunham’s Oddyst Walker missed a shot from halfcourt at the buzzer.
Scotlandville (8-1) was the Division I state champions in 2017 and Dunham was the Division III runner-up. The Hornets played without 6-foot-4 senior guard Ja’Vonte Smart, a five-star recruit and LSU basketball signee, because of a hip and back injury.
Sample’s record is 500-172 in 21 years at Livonia, Istrouma and Scotlandville.
“What a win,” said Sample, who is 308-58 in 11 years at Scotlandville, including two state titles. “We wanted to push the ball after the made basket. It was a heck of a way to get the 500th win. I wouldn’t want it any other way. My guys believe in the system. Dunham is a heck of a team.”
Dunham coach Jonathan Pixley said his team celebrated after tying the game on Wright’s shot.
“Scotlandville got the ball out quick and we jogged back on defense,” Pixley said. “He made a tough shot, but it still was a layup.
“We’re going to be a good defensive team, but we’re not there yet. We seemed to have a letdown when we found out Smart wasn’t playing, and I don’t know why.”
Wright scored 26 points for Dunham (5-3). Oddyst Walker added 21 points.
Joseph scored 14 of his season-high 21 points in the first quarter as the Hornets surged to a 24-5 lead. Joseph hit five 3-pointers in the contest. Sophomore guard Reece Beekman added 25 points, including three 3-pointers.
Dunham outscored the Hornets 18-5 in the second quarter to pull within 29-23 at halftime.
Scotlandville went on a 13-0 run in the third quarter to pull ahead 42-25. Dunham pulled within 51-49 on a layup by Ralph Davenport with 3:27 remaining. Walker’s drive tied it at 51. Beekman’s layup in the final minute put the Warriors up 58-55.
Dunham has beaten defending state champions Peabody and Washington Marion this season and lost to two state champions.
“This tough schedule will help us,” Pixley said.