Capitol’s Edwin Young was inches away from being the hero of the day.
Down two points to No. 4 seed Belaire in the first round of the Bob Pettit/Coca-Cola/East Baton Rouge Parish tournament, Young threw up a long shot at the buzzer that would have capped No. 13 Capitol’s unlikely second-half comeback and made the Bengals the first upset victims of the weekend.
But it wasn’t to be as the ball deflected off the rim, sealing Belaire’s 45-43 win on Saturday.
“Capitol gave us everything they’ve got, but we’re the No. 4 seed, so we expect that,” Belaire coach Chauncey Moore said. “That’s what happens in this tournament. This tournament, in the past, is upset city. You come in thinking you’re up and then the underdog comes in and beats you.”
Belaire’s lead was, in part, thanks to Terrance Johnson and Ben Percy, who teamed up for a combined 14 first-half points.
Johnson led both teams with 16 points, including shooting 7-of-9 from the free-throw line.
The Lions roared back into the game in the second half, though, outscoring Belaire 27-21 after halftime. For a brief moment at the start of the fourth quarter, Capitol even held a one-point lead thanks to a pair of free throws by Young, but Belaire responded quickly and never gave up the lead again.
Young and Capitol point guard Tre Cory paved the way for the second-half comeback, contributing seven points each in the last two quarters.
Young scored a team-high 11 points for the Lions on 4-of-9 shooting.
“I think with the big stage and the crowd we showed some nerves,” Capitol coach Jameion St. Cyr said. “But after the first quarter, we saw that we could play with them and kind of settled down.”
Belaire moves on to face No. 5 seed Zachary in the next round. The Broncos defeated Broadmoor 54-52 in overtime.
McKINLEY 72, LEE HIGH 22: There was no questioning the outcome of Saturday’s final matchup.
McKinley trailed Lee High for a little under a minute to start the game, but a 22-2 run through the rest of the opening quarter all but clinched the Panthers’ ticket to the second round.
“These types of games, you just want to come out and run your stuff,” McKinley coach Harold Boudreaux said. “Run your defense, run your offense smooth, get some transition baskets and just get used to the atmosphere. It gets a little hotter as you win.”
McKinley senior Walter Feast came off the bench to lead the Panthers with 17 points on an impressive 80 percent shooting from the field. It wasn’t until late in the first half that Feast finally missed his first shot, and he was 4-for-4 after halftime.
“We got everything we needed to get done,” Feast said. “We just want to do a little more, be a little more aggressive on defense and hopefully our starting five can come out a little more aggressive. But it was a good game.”
McKinley faces No. 6 Glen Oaks on Sunday. Glen Oaks beat Northeast 47-41 earlier in the day.