HAMMOND —Third-seeded Comeaux High had defending state champion Scotlandville on the ropes and led by six points in the final quarter.
But it was Damian Jones to the rescue. The 6-foot-9 Jones scored eight points and blocked five shots in the fourth quarter to help No. 2-seed Scotlandville claim a 58-50 come-from-behind victory over Comeaux in a Class 5A boys basketball semifinal game Saturday night at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s The Advocate/Southeast Regional.
“I want to congratulate Comeaux on a heck of a game,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said. “I know it’s a hurting feeling … I’ve been on that end. They did an outstanding job.
“They punched us in the mouth, they took it to us. With that being said, my guys just came out and withstood all of that and played to the end.”
Tre’Lun Banks finished with 21 points to pace the Hornets (33-2), who advance to the 5A title game for the fourth straight season. Scotlandville will face Ouachita, an 82-78 overtime winner over East Ascension.
Jones, a Vanderbilt signee, finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and eight blocks, while Bridgewater finished 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Omosa Ogunsuyi scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the first half for Lafayette-based Comeaux (30-5), which made its first semifinal appearance. Julian Thomas added 10 points.
A crowd of 5,330 attended Saturday’s five-game session at SLU’s University Center, to draw a total of 11,007 for the three-day semifinals.
“We kept attacking, we didn’t get the calls down the stretch,” Comeaux coach Rob Melanson said. “We shot zero free throws in the last quarter, and we kept attacking. We continued to get them on our hips.
“They (Scotlandville) hit a couple of shots. On the offensive end, we kept attacking. It’s tough, because we had them beat.”
With Banks scoring 10 first-quarter points, Scotlandville led early. Comeaux was never far behind. The teams traded baskets most of the way.
The Hornets took a 12-9 lead on a 3-pointer by Ezekiel Brown with 2:33 to go. A follow shot by Julian Thomas got the Spartans back within one 30 seconds later.
But Banks took the lead from there. First, he scored on a layup and made a free throw and then added another jumper in the lane to send Scotlandville into the second quarter with a 19-13 lead.
Ogunsuyi was the story for Comeaux in the second quarter. The 6-1 junior scored nine points in the quarter. He hit a short jumper followed by a 3-pointer that gave the Spartans the edge. Comeaux led 32-29 at halftime.
Scotlandville came out cold in the second half. The Hornets didn’t score in the first two-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter. Comeaux added to its lead with a free throw by Ogunsuyi along with a steal and layup by Hayward Register.
Comeaux’s 35-29 lead grew with another basket by Register. Scotlandville didn’t score until Bridgewater made two free throw at the 4:44 mark. Register answered with a 3-pointer before Banks countered with a Scotlandville trey.
Scotlandville got back within two on a layup by Jones at 40-38 with 1:47 remaining, but Comeaux rode a 44-40 lead into the final quarter.
The Spartans’ lead went up to six points to start the fourth period. Scotlandville got closer, but the Hornets missed several chances to tie the game.
Scotlandville finally tied it at 48-48 when Jones followed Brown’s miss with a dunk at the 2:53 mark. The teams traded baskets one more time before Jones scored on the baseline to give the Hornets the lead for good, at 52-50, with 1:39 remaining.
Comeaux missed its final five shots as Scotlandville completed an 18-6 fourth-quarter run. Banks added a layup and two free throws and Bridgewater also sank two free throws for the Hornets in the final minute.