PORT ALLEN — By the time his Glen Oaks team had contributed to Port Allen’s worst half of the season, veteran coach Harvey Adger saw some of the qualities that’s made the Pelicans one of the state’s top Class 3A teams.
It took PAHS just five minutes during the third quarter to get that message across.
Port Allen overcame a double-digit halftime deficit with a furious second-half rally that featured 70 percent shooting, balanced scoring and tenacious defense.
The final result was a 49-42 District 7-3A victory for Port Allen over Glen Oaks Friday night.
“Coach (Brandon) Ricard does a great job with his team,” Adger said.
“They came back, made their free throws, got second-chance opportunities and they played like the No. 5 (power ratings) team.”
Port Allen (17-4, 5-1) outscored Glen Oaks (13-8, 4-2) 33-18 in the second half with guards Nigel Allen and Jordan Morgan scoring 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Six-foot-eight Northwestern State signee Ishmael Lane, who was limited to a field goal in the first half, wound up with 11 points, while guard Telson Allen added 10.
“That was one of the worst second quarters we’ve ever played,” said Ricard, whose team turned the ball over nine times and made 1-of-3 shots. “I credit Glen Oaks for contributing to that with the defense they played and running their offense.”
Port Allen erased Glen Oaks’ 27-16 lead with a 12-1 run out of the locker room, tying the game for the first time at 28-all with 3:02 showing on the clock.
Leading scorer Dontrell McQuarter, who topped Glen Oaks with 17 points, increased his team’s lead to 28-16 with a free throw, but Lane fueled Port Allen’s comeback with five points, including a three-point play on a putback.
The Pelicans tied the game on Allen’s lay-in following a turnover when the Panthers got a free throw from Eddie Harris that temporarily stopped the home team’s momentum.
Morgan’s floater in the lane gave Port Allen the lead for good and Nigel Allen’s lay-in with 1:31 to go capped a stretch of torrid 7-for-8 shooting from the field.
“I reminded them what got us to the point where we’re at and how we needed to get back in the game,” Ricard said. “It was all going to start with defense.”
Glen Oaks, which shot 46 percent in the opening half, didn’t make a field until an inside basket from McQuarter with 30 seconds left and finished 1-of-7 in the third quarter.
Port Allen extended its lead to 37-31 on three straight points from Telson Allen to open the fourth quarter until GOHS closed to 37-34 with 4:44 left on Chris Dancey’s three-point play and 44-40 on McQuarter’s putback.
The Pelicans then sealed the game when three players combined to make 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute of play.
“We did an outstanding job the first half, but as I told the players you’ve got to finish it,” Adger said. “I thought our kids fought hard but you’ve got to play 32 (minutes), not 16.”