The St. Augustine Purple Knights handed the Salmen Spartans their second defeat of the season with a 53-39 victory at Chalmette’s Christmas Classic on Friday.

Kelvin Jackson led the Knights (9-3) with 17 points, including two 3-pointers.

It looked like it would be an easy victory for the Knights when they went into halftime with a 27-11 lead.

However, the Spartans (9-2) rallied, scoring 16 points in the third quarter and eventually cutting the deficit to 33-27 with just more than a minute left in the period.

But St. Aug closed the quarter by scoring the final four points to extend its lead back to 10 and held on.

“I’ve got to give (Salmen coach) coach (Jay Carlin) a lot of credit,” St. Aug coach Mitchell Johnson said. “They made some adjustments and made plays when they needed to make plays.

“We just have to do a better job of playing four quarters.”

Charles Brown added 15 points for St. Aug.

“The plan was to pound the ball inside,” Brown said. “If they double-teamed, kick it outside. And it worked for us.”

Johnson praised Brown for assuming a leadership role this season.

“Charles made a promise to me at the end (of last season),” Johnson said. “He said, ‘Coach, I’m going to be better. I promise I’m going to lead this team,’ and he’s doing a great job being a leader.”

St. Aug will face Jesuit at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, while Salmen will play Chalmette at 6 p.m.