A big first quarter put Scotlandville up early and they never looked back as they coasted to a 63-32 win over Zachary to win the John Herty Jr. Memorial Tournament.
It was a tough Saturday for the hosts Zachary overall as The Lady Broncos fell to Baker 34-27 earlier.
“Any game this time of year is very important,” said Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample. “Just getting the experience and being able to put a new group of players out there to learn new roles. I just commend my guys on the effort and intensity.”
Led by seniors Brian Bridgewater and Trelun Banks, Scotlandville opened the game on a 19-0 run.
Bridgewater led the Hornets with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Banks, who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, had 16 points and seven assists.
“We are looking for senior leadership and those two showed that tonight,” Sample said. “They both played well tonight.”
Bridgewater also gave Zachary’s offense as he and Damien Jones combined for 13 blocks, including six in the first quarter. The Broncos didn’t score until point guard Larry Cage’s layup with 50 seconds left in the opening quarter.
“They are a good team that has a lot of size,” Zachary coach Bakari Beckwith said of Scotlandville. “A lot of my younger guys were a little shell shocked when they stepped out on the court.”
In the second quarter, Banks kicked off another big run for the Hornets with nine points that were part of a 16-5 spurt. Bridgewater capped the run with an emphatic, break-away dunk that pushed their lead to 30 points.
A jumper by Zachary’s Trey Hills right before halftime made the score 39-11. Free throws played a big part in maintaining the lead for Scotlandville as they hit 8-of-10 in the second quarter.
“Free throw shooting has been kind of iffy for us,” explained Sample. “We were a little bit more consistent tonight.”
Even with the backups for most of the second half, Scotlandville still found success on offense, thanks to three 3-pointers from Vincent Sanders that extended the Hornets lead to 59-18 going into the fourth quarter.
Baker Girls 34, Zachary 27: The Buffaloes never had a lead larger than eight points, but it did not matter with their stifling defense as they knocked off Zachary to take home the title.
“I have been at Baker for six years, and we have never won this tournament before,” said Baker coach Matt Stephens. “This is a big step for us and a really important victory.”
Junior forward Eugenea James led the way for Baker with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
“She hurt her ankle in yesterday’s game but still played really well today,” Stephens said of James. “Offensively and defensively she is one of our top players and deserves all the accolades that she gets.”
James was named to the all-tournament team. Baker’s Anitra Whitfield was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. She finished with seven points.
After a scoreless first three minutes, Baker shooting guard Iesha Smith broke the scoreless draw with a 3-pointer.
After that, all of Baker’s first-quarter scoring went through James. She matched Zachary’s five first-quarter points with five of her own, including a layup right before the buzzer, to give the Buffaloes an 8-5 lead.
Zachary found its shooting stroke in the second quarter with a couple of 3-pointers from Mariah Bryant and Deja Langford to pull within a point with 4:30 to go in the half.
But Zachary’s defense still had no answer for James who added two more buckets to put Baker up 17-13 with a minute to go.
With two seconds left in the half, Baker’s Jaedius Dodson threw an inbounds pas to an open Tia Hughes under the basket for an easy layup as the halftime buzzer with Baker leading 19-15.
“We have drawn that up in practice, and it didn’t always work,” Stephens said. “It gave us a little momentum going into halftime, and it carried us forward.”
One of the reasons why Zachary found itself down at the half was their nine turnovers that led to six Buffaloes points.
“We tried to slow them down and make it a tempo game,” Stephens said. “We made sure to pressure them and force mistakes.”
After both teams scored just five points each in the third quarter, Baker made sure that Zachary would not make a fourth quarter comeback with thorough perimeter defense and by running the four corners on offense.
Jasmine Mitchell led Zachary with 12 points.