DENHAM SPRINGS — Summer-league basketball games are usually forgotten as soon as the final buzzer goes off. St. Michael the Archangel couldn’t forget its summer game against Denham Springs High.
That fact set the stage for a role reversal in the title game of Denham Springs’ Grady Hornsby Thanksgiving Classic. Tourney MVP Jacob Evans scored 24 of his game-high 30 points in the first half to help propel the St. Michael the Archangel to a 74-60 victory over Denham Springs on Wednesday night.
“We played Denham Springs this summer and they absolutely wore us out,” St. Michael coach Drew Hart said. “We were still trying to figure who should be playing and where. They took it to us. My team remembered that and they earmarked this game.”
David Ventress added 16 points, Michael Miketinas 12 and Michael Alfred 10 for Class 4A Warriors (4-1). Tuwain Starks led Denham Springs (4-3) with 16 points. Torez Kinchen finished with 15 and Monterio Whitley had 10 for the 5A Yellow Jackets.
Denham Springs raced out to an early lead with Whitley scoring an early 3-pointer and Kinchen contributing two baskets.
That was before the 6-foot-6 Evans exploded for 16 first-quarter points, including his lone 3-pointer of the night. The Warriors led 22-18 after one quarter. A 3-pointer from the top of the key by Kinchen made it a 22-21 game 20 seconds into the second quarter.
From there, the Warriors went on an 18-7 run and claimed a 40-28 halftime lead. Poor shooting hampered the Yellow Jackets, who utilized three football players who had joined the team following last Friday’s playoff loss to Zachary.
DSHS made 5 of 13 third-quarter shots. St. Michael extended its lead to as much as 20 points in the fourth quarter. Two 3-pointers by Brandon Himel helped the Yellow Jackets rally in the final two minutes.
“I told them at halftime I thought our curse was that we shot well early,” DSHS coach Wynn Wingate said. “So everything was outside We didn’t go to the goal enough. I’m not one to blame officials, but it was just a different called game.
“It was a physical game. I thought our guys played with heart all the way through. St. Michael is a very good that is going to beat a lot of people.”
Evans, a recent Cincinnati signee, added, “I just wanted to come out and be aggressive from the start. I’m glad that we won.”
St. Michael’s Ventress also made the all-tournament team. Starks and Altoris Odom were Denham Springs’ all-tourney selections.
Also making the all-tournament team were Lutcher’s Tiajuan White, East Ascension’s Keimon McGuffy, Baker’s Trey Hunt, Holden’s Aaron Carlton, Hammond’s Derrick Harper and Mandeville’s Hunter Dugas.
Lutcher beat East Ascension 66-58 in the third-place game.