Riding a surprising 10-1 start to the season, some viewed Catholic High as a tough early test for defending Class 5A champions Scotlandville.
The Hornets (11-0) stood up to that test and passed it with flying colors.
Scotlandville used its strong defense to run away from the Bears (10-2) and remain undefeated with a 71-39 victory in the second round of the Country Day Classic on Saturday, snapping Catholic’s eight-game wining streak.
The Hornets will move on to a semifinal matchup against Riverside, a 75-51 winner over Central Lafourche at 7 p.m. Monday.
“Our guys have had that accountability to one another all year,” Scotlandvile coach Carlos Sample said. “Expectations for them are high, and they’re going to continue to be high. They’ve done a great job of meeting those expectations.”
Javonte Smart led the way for Scotlandville with 23 points (7-of-11 on 3-pointers) three rebounds and three assists. Jordan Adebutu had 15 points and five rebounds.
“I just wanted to move the ball and my teammates did a good job of finding me,” said Smart, ESPN.com’s No. 1 point guard in the nation for the Class of 2018.
“I was able to knock a few shots down and we played really well on defense.”
Catholic’s potent backcourt of Toliver Freeman and Jacoby Carter combined for 38 points in the team’s first-round win over De La Salle, but Scotlandville’s suffocating full-court pressure gave the Bears veteran backcourt fits in the first half.
Scotlandville, which came into Saturday with an average winning margin of 30.3 points in its first 10 games, held Carter and Freeman to a combined four points in the first two quarters on 2-of-11 shooting from the field and the Hornets sprinted out to a 35-18 lead by halftime.
Carter led the way for the Bears with eight points and five rebounds.
“Anytime you play against those guys, you know it’s going to be tough to complete passes and get to the rim,” Catholic coach Mark Cascio said. “Their pressure just got us out of our offense.”
The Hornets held Catholic scoreless to start the third quarter until Ethan Treigle’s floater at the 2:53 mark and extended their lead to 56-20 at one point in the quarter.
Scotlandville’s lead wasn’t less than 31 the rest of the game.
“We knew coming in that Catholic was a very good team,” Sample said. “Our guys love competition, and I think it brings the best out of them.”