Nine minutes isn’t a large amount of time during any given day. But it can seem like an eternity in a basketball game.
Just ask Port Allen High.
The Pelicans’ hopes of upsetting defending Class 3A state champion University High on the road for the second straight year evaporated during a nine-minute first-half scoring drought.
Wayde Sims finished with 21 points and eight rebounds as U-High notched a 77-51 District 7-3A victory Monday night at UHS’ Pennington-McKernan gym.
“I’m very pleased,” Sims said, “We came out ready to play.”
DJ White added 16 points, while Skylar Mays contributed 12 points and nine assists for the Cubs (25-3, 11-0). That balanced attack, led by the 6-foot-6 Sims, helped offset the efforts of Port Allen’s 6-8 Ishmael Lane, who finished with a game-high 23 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots. Nigel Allen added 15 for the Pelicans (20-7, 8-3).
“During that drought, I saw a lot of bad passes and no movement within the game plan,” PAHS coach Brandon Ricard said. “I preach moving and picking and running the offense. Anybody can see that when we run the offense, it works. Until we see that, we’re going to have tough times.”
Port Allen held the upper hand early. Lane’s follow shot have the Pelicans a 7-4 lead with 6:20 left in the first quarter.
U-High scored 16 of the final 25 points in the period. A dunk by Sims and a jumper by White sent the Cubs into the second quarter with an 18-13 lead.
The Pelicans didn’t score in the final 3:05 of the first quarter. That drought continued for the first six minutes in the second quarter. U-High took advantage of eight PAHS turnovers and 2-for-9 shooting to add to its lead.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by John Jones and Marshall Graves extended the lead to 36-13. The Cubs led 39-19 at the half, making 8 of 12 shots from the field in the second quarter.
Lane made two free throws and had one field goal. Telson Allen had the other field goal for PAHS in the second quarter.
Port Allen managed to creep closer in the third quarter. The Pelicans got as close as 15 points at 57-42. But the Cubs put together one last run — this one 20-9 to close out the game.
“I thought that during that (first-half) stretch, we played real well and shared the ball well,” UHS coach Joe Spencer said. “That was probably one of best stretches of basketball this year. I’m happy overall. They (Port Allen) have got a really good team.”
U-HIGH 72, PORT ALLEN 28: The Cubs (25-2, 11-1) scored 49 first-half points en route to an easy win.
Alanie Fisher scored a game-high 18 points, while Dahlia Johnson added 16 points and six assists. Genea Miles contributed 10.
Destiny Ephrom added eight rebounds for UHS, the defending Class 3A state champion.
Makayla Johnson, who finished with eight points, led Port Allen (9-15, 3-8).