The Warren Easton boys basketball team escaped with a dramatic home win Tuesday night when the survived a late scare against East Jefferson in a 34-31 victory.
The Eagles (9-9, 1-1 in district) survived a last-second barrage of East Jefferson 3-pointers to avert overtime.
“(I kept thinking) please don’t make it! Please don’t make it!” said Easton guard Kevin Hicks, who led the Eagles in scoring with 11 points.
It was Easton’s first win against East Jefferson (9-12, 1-2) in its past six games.
“This was a big district win for us,” Easton coach Neil McKendal said. “I told the kids that we need to make a run (in district) like we did at the start of the season when we were 7-0.”
Easton led the game 20-15 at halftime and seemed poised to run away when it stretched the lead to 25-15 early in the third quarter. However, the Warriors found their spark then and went on a 12-0 run to take the lead at the start of the final period.
Easton recaptured the lead shortly afterward. The game was tight the rest of the way, but the Eagles never trailed again.
The win capped a special night for Kevin Hicks, who was presented a game ball right before tip-off in honor of becoming Easton’s first 1,000-point scorer. While Hicks said it meant a lot, he also emphasized it was not his main focus.
“I’m not worried about individual milestones right now,” Hicks said. “I’m not worried about myself, I’m (concentrating) on my team.”