Destrehan found itself in deep trouble in the early going and never managed to work out of it against perennial Class 5A state finalist Scotlandville in the first round of the Gold Dome Classic at St. Amant High on Wednesday.
The Wildcats managed only eight first-half points against the tall and talented Hornets who led 18-6 after one quarter and 32-8 at halftime. The second half was more of the same as Scotlandville had a 20-2 advantage in the third quarter and coasted to a 66-22 win.
Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said his team is looking for rhythm and chemistry in the early part of the season.
“It wasn’t bad tonight,” Sample said. “We came out aggressive. We learned a lot about ourselves last week in New Orleans, and it left a bitter taste when we lost a 12-point lead in the last two minutes (against Higgins) and let the game get away from us in overtime.”
“We’re trying to get better as a team, offensively and defensively, and get back to playing a Scotlandville brand of basketball. That’s the blueprint.”
The Hornets demonstrated a few parts of the blueprint in this matchup, mostly that they’re not afraid to shoot 3-pointers, they have a strong presence in the middle in Garrick Green and they like to swarm like their namesake on defense.
Scotlandville (4-1) made 12 3-pointers with six players scoring from behind the arc. Jordan Adebutu led the way with five despite playing only the first and third quarters. Javonte Smart added three, and four other players had one each.
Adebutu finished with 19 points and Smart with 14.
Green was a force around the basket in the three quarters he played. He totaled 12 points, with six coming from follow shots off offensive rebounds. He had four blocks and started the second half by drawing a charging foul.
Scotlandville showed several looks in their pressure man-to-man defense, but the constant was always applying pressure, double and triple-teaming and diving for loose balls.
Destrehan manage only 10 points through the first three quarters before more than doubling their total against mostly Scotlandville reserves in the fourth quarter.
Destrehan coach Todd Bourg was stoic about his over-matched team’s performance.
“There’s not much you can take away from a game like this,” he said.
“They’re a very, very good team. They’re not in the final four every year for nothing.”
David Green was the Wildcats’ leader with nine points. Clifton Adams added a 3-pointer for Destrehan in the first quarter.
“We’re still Scotlandville, but everybody has a completely different role than last year. We’re having fun playing, and if we get the right chemistry we’ll get there,” Sample said.