Overtime became D.J. Marshall time after Belaire and Plaquemine ended regulation tied at 47-47.
Marshall scored all seven points for Plaquemine in overtime, lifting the Green Devils to a 54-52 District 6-4A victory Tuesday night at Belaire.
Marshall ran into early foul trouble in each half, but was ready to provide the finishing kick as he led 6-4A champion Plaquemine (23-5, 8-0) with 13 points.
“It took a while for (Marshall) to get going,” Plaquemine coach Donald Ray Johnson said after the Green Devils won their eighth consecutive game.
“Luckily, he stayed in the game mentally. He got himself together, and played well in overtime.”
Belaire (13-17, 1-7) was fighting for a playoff spot, and gave Plaquemine a fight to the finish for the second time this season. Plaquemine edged Belaire 51-48 on Jan. 30.
Robert Lewis led Belaire with 15 points, and got support from Tim Johnson (12) and Terrence Johnson (10). The loss was Belaire’s 12th in 13 games, but only one of those losses was by double digits.
“That’s been the tale of our season,” Belaire coach Chauncey Moore said. “We’ve lost close ballgames, but the kids played hard. You can’t take anything away from what they do. As a coach, you feel good about the effort.”
In overtime, Plaquemine got the tip and worked the ball to Marshall in the lane for a dunk. Belaire’s Terrence Johnson responded with a 3-pointer from the left corner for a 50-49 Bengals’ lead.
Marshall was fouled as he made a driving basket, and hit the free throw to put Plaquemine back on top for good. After a turnover, Marshall made a pair of free throws for a 54-50 lead with 41 seconds left.
Lewis scored inside, and Belaire then forced a turnover with 19 seconds to play.
Belaire went for the win, but Tim Johnson’s 3-pointer was off the mark as the clock ran out.
“Coach Moore has (Belaire) playing tough defense. That’s what they’re about,” Johnson said. “It was the same kind of game (in the first round). It was tough; not pretty offensively. It was all about toughness.”
Plaquemine trailed 36-30 going into the fourth quarter, but finally found its shooting touch. The Green Devils made seven of 13 from the field including three 3-pointers.
Belaire twice led by eight points early in the fourth, but Plaquemine scored seven consecutive points after trailing 41-33 at the six minute mark.
The Green Devils finally pulled even at 44-44 on Marshall’s basket with 1:26 to play. Terrence Johnson hit a free throw, but Plaquemine’s Cameron Garner nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 47-45 lead.
Terrence Johnson tied the score with after grabbing an offensive rebound. Belaire got a steal, and had a chance to win in regulation but Terrence Johnson misfired on a 3-pointer.
“We wanted to play well,” Plaquemine’s Johnson said. “We wanted to win all eight (district games). If you can’t win ugly then you can’t win big.
“If you have to play pretty all the time you won’t win big.”