It might be time for the LHSAA to change the name of the Class 5A boys basketball semifinals to the “Scotlandville Invitational.”
The second-seeded Hornets (33-2) overpowered No. 10 St. Augustine on the way to a 71-58 road victory Friday night, punching their ticket for a seventh consecutive trip to the semifinals.
“God gets all the glory, because we’ve been through a lot this year,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said. “We’re just blessed, man, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
The Hornets move on to the Boys Top 28 tournament in Lake Charles next week against No. 11 Ouachita Parish, which took beat No. 19 Bonnabel 55-53.
Scotlandville has made it the 5A championship game the past seven seasons and won the title three of the past four years.
Scotlandville senior Garrick Green dominated for much of the night, finishing with 22 points, 21 rebounds and four blocks.
“The whole game I just wanted to keep it in my head to keep my motor going,” Green said. “I wanted to play as hard as I can and make the hustle plays for my team.”
St. Aug (24-8) came into Friday’s game on a nine-game winning streak. Last season St. Aug was knocked out the playoffs after losing at home to Carencro in the first round on a buzzer-beater.
Caleb Daniels and Devante Jones carried the Purple Knight attack with a combined 41 points, but St. Aug struggled to find scoring in other places to help its veteran duo.
No other St. Aug player finished with more than seven points.
“We’ve pretty much been a two-headed monster on offense all year,” St. Aug coach Mitchell Johnson said. “I can’t be more proud of (Jones), and Caleb tonight after the way they left it all on the line. That’s all you can ask for as a coach.”
Scotlandville held on to a comfortable lead for much of the second half, but it seemed the Purple Knights were poised to make one more run when Jones’ 3-pointer cut his team’s deficit to 55-48 with 2:52 remaining.
Hornets guard Javonte Smart responded by taking control of the offense and scoring his team’s next seven points to extend the Scotlandville lead back to double digits. The sophomore finished with 22 points and six assists.
“I knew they were going to go on a run because basketball is a game of runs,” said Smart, 2018’s No. 1 point guard in the nation according to 247Sports.com.
“I just wanted to attack, get to the line or do whatever else it took to get my team the win.”