Jordan Harvey dropped 18 points in the first half to give Amite a commanding lead they never relinquished in a 69-62 victory against Beau Chene on Saturday in the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Hall of Game game at Baton Rouge Community College.
Harvey finished the game with 22 points and seven rebounds in an efficient performance. The senior recently signed with McNeese State.
“They shot the ball lights out and played a hell of a game,” Beau Chene coach Lorenso Williams said. “They could’ve backed down against us but they didn’t. That isn’t the No. 40 team in the state. I was very impressed.”
The Warriors took control of the game in the second quarter, scoring 25 points while holding the Gators to only seven points.
Amite coach Ronald Cox said the Gators played efficient, mistake free basketball while staying aggressive on the defensive end.
“We did everything we needed to do. We played pressure defense, we forced turnovers, we were aggressive and we were hitting our shots,” Cox said.
Amite closed the half with consecutive thunderous fast break dunks by Harvey and Devanta Smith after forcing steals. The dunks ignited the crowd and the Warriors bench
The Gators (14-4, 3-0) couldn’t break Amite’s aggressive man-to-man defense, with the Warriors’ length bothering Beau Chene’s ball handlers.
Williams said the man defense affected his team’s offense, as the Gators had faced a lot of zone in their previous few matchups.
“Playing against that team with their guard play and shooting, you can’t play zone against that,” Cox said.
But Williams looked at his team’s struggles against the zone as a good teaching moment for his team moving forward.
“We needed that. That’s the type of defense we’ll see in the state tournament,” Williams said.
Beau Chene charged back in the fourth quarter scoring 26 points and whittling the Warriors’ 21-point third-quarter lead down to five with 60 seconds left.
Senior guard Detravan Guilbeau was the driving force behind the comeback, assisting or scoring on six straight Gators offensive possessions. Guilbeau finished with 16 points.
Aiding the comeback was an intentional foul-technical foul combo leading to four free throw attempts and stopping the Warriors’ momentum.
Williams said after the Gators arrived late to gym, they weren’t able to get a proper warm-up in before the game, leading to the cold offensive start.
“The shots weren’t falling. We didn’t even get a chance to warm up,” Williams said. “So we just did what we could. Coming off a game last night, I’ll take that type of effort any day.”
“I told the guys we’ve been through adversity all year, we can get back into this game,” Williams said. “I told the guys to make the right adjustments and keep trusting your coaches, and we would be all right.”
Williams said his team’s offensive explosion in the fourth was in part because of his team finally warming up.
Cox said his team let the big lead get into their heads, and their effort dropped considerably in the second half.
“(In the first half) we were taking the ball into the paint, sucking the defense in and then kicking it out to the open shooters,” Cox said. “But we stopped doing that in the second half, and we just couldn’t finish them off.”
With their lead down to five and the Warriors reeling, Harvey again took control.
He forced a steal on the defensive end and went coast-to-coast for a layup. Then came up with another steal to spark another fast break bucket, ending the contest.
The loss snapped Beau Chene’s 10-game winning streak, and the Gators will look to get back on track against district opponent Eunice on Jan. 27, while the Warriors continue their season against Albany on Tuesday.