From the opening tip-off, it looked as if the East Baton Rouge Parish Tournament final would be a slugfest between top-seeded Scotlandville and No. 3 seed Zachary.
Zachary came out of the gates with energy and pulled ahead with a 9-4 lead early in the first quarter. Give Scotlandville three minutes to settle in and it turned into a whole different ball game.
The Hornets answered with an 11-0 run to end the first quarter and held the Broncos just 10 points the rest of the game en route to a 56-19 win and second consecutive tournament title.
“We knew in a championship game, (Zachary) was going to come out and be emotional,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said. “The adrenaline is flowing in the first three minutes of the game. Then after that, it’s time to settle down and really play basketball. Once they settle in, just play.”
That’s exactly what the Hornets did, limiting Zachary to four points in the second quarter, two points in the third and four more in the fourth.
“What really impressed me tonight is the guards on the defensive end,” Sample said. “They played well tonight. I have to commend my kids on the effort for just defending. They did an outstanding job.”
Scotlandville held Zachary’s leading scorers, Ronnie Frebis and Drexler Davis, to six points, and only two other Broncos scored in the game.
The Hornets guards were impressive on both ends of the floor, with Trelun Banks leading all scorers with 14 and Vincent Sanders adding 10 points.
Banks added seven rebounds, three assists and three steals to his night, leading Scotlandville to its third EBRP Tournament title in four years.
“Give Scotlandville a lot of credit,” Zachary coach Bakari Beckwith said. “They’re well-coached. I thought we hit them hard first and they responded. When they hit back, we didn’t respond. Once we got stagnant, they kept scoring and we couldn’t score. That’s the tale of the game.”
The Broncos were able to limit the production of Scotlandville’s big men, Brian Bridgewater and Damien Jones, for the most part. Bridgewater finished with nine points, six rebounds and a couple of blocks, while Jones scored seven points with six rebound and three blocks.
Jones was named Tournament MVP after the game.
TARA 65, CENTRAL 62: Tara seemed to have third place all but sealed, heading into the fourth quarter with a 14-point lead. The Trojans even led by as many as 16 early in the fourth.
But Central rallied for 24 fourth quarter points, holding Tara to just nine, to send the wild game into overtime. No. 7-seed Central’s run ended in overtime as Tara pulled out the three-point win to take third place in the tournament in a game that didn’t quite please Tara coach Larry Grantham.
“It was ugly,” Grantham said. “We played three good quarters they flat outplayed us in the fourth quarter when they needed to.”
Central’s Justin Jemison poured in 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to help rally the Wildcats, with some extra help from Cameron Brooks, who chipped in 12 points for the second consecutive night.
Central held a 14-10 lead after the first quarter, but gave up 22 second-quarter points while only scoring six of its own to fall behind heading into the break.
Tara had three double-digit scorers in the game, including Shaquille Reed, who posted 26 points. Josh Plain put up 16 and Lionel Russell added 10.
WOODLAWN 49, MCKINLEY 46 (OT): Following Woodlawn’s 3-point, opening round win, Panthers coach Elmo Fernandez joked that his team gives him a heart nearly every outing. Saturday was no different, as Woodlawn needed an overtime thriller to get past McKinley, 49-46.
Woodlawn trailed McKinley by two with 0.4 seconds left on the clock. Woodlawn inbounded the ball from under its own goal, lofted a pass near the rim to Tyree Spurlock, who caught it and dropped it in to send the game into overtime.
Woodlawn, who trailed by one at halftime, rode the momentum into overtime and held on to the three-point win to earn fifth place in the tournament.
Spurlock finished with 16 points, followed by teammate Chris Williams with 15.
McKinley’s Lanard Daniels put up 16 points himself, and Keeyon Smart scored 10.
SOUTHERN LAB 79, NORTHEAST 53: Powered by a 20-point game from Trent Flowers, Southern Lab walked away with seventh place in the 12-team tournament, stomping Northeast, 79-53.
Southern Lab dropped 22 points in the first quarter alone, followed by 20 in the second quarter to head into halftime with a 42-24 advantage. The Kittens coasted the rest of the way en route to the 26-point victory, with the help of Marquise Richard’s 16 points and Ray White’s 14.
Northeast put up a fight, scoring 18 points in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.
Chris Woodside paced the Vikings’ scoring with 19 points, followed by 16 points from Eric Williams.