METAIRIE — East Jefferson’s defense led to easy offense Friday night, allowing the Warriors to continue their undefeated journey through District 10-4A.
Behind two defensive spurts in the first half, the Warriors forced Riverdale to commit double-digit turnovers, many of which transformed into easy layups during a 78-38 rout at East Jefferson’s gymnasium.
When the Warriors failed to score off their initial steals, they seized second and third scoring opportunities as they dominated rebounding with faster, quicker legs, halting any chance at an upset bid in the coming minutes.
Shaquille Preston led East Jefferson with a game-high 24 points. Eugene Wells and Toren Arnold added nine points apiece. The Warriors (21-2, 2-0) won their fourth consecutive game heading into next Tuesday’s home game against Warren Easton.
“We just wanted to play a good game,” Preston said. “We’ve got quick guards with quick hands. “We were eager to get our second win in district.”
Friday’s win served as a statement game for East Jefferson coach Ryan Dicharry, who wanted his Warriors to play with the same intensity against Riverdale as they would with tougher competition.
Three days earlier, East Jefferson allowed district rival Holy Cross to rally from a 28-12 halftime deficit before the Warriors won 56-52.
This time, East Jefferson started strong and finished confidently.
Preston, a junior, started the second half with a slam dunk in transition.
“We wanted to come out and establish a rhythm to the game,” Dicharry said. “We wanted to press them in the backcourt, create turnovers.”
It started early in the first quarter.
Wells scored on a layup off a steal, then watched Preston collect his own steal and get fouled on a layup attempt. Preston made his first free throw and missed the second, but grabbed the offensive rebound for a putback.
Preston then stole another pass and converted a layup with 2:56 remaining, giving East Jefferson a 17-8 lead.
The Warriors started the second quarter even more defensive intensity, keeping Riverdale scoreless for the first four minutes. Meanwhile, Jamal Veazey scored on a layup, which was followed by Manny Nicholas’ layup off a steal. Ronald Green then stole another pass, which Preston finished at the rim.
After Riverdale inbounded the ball, Arnold stepping in the passing lane, stealing another errand pass, which Green scored. The consecutive streak of turnovers and scores ended with Preston, giving East Jefferson a 31-10 lead.
It grew to 43-13 at halftime.
Donte Jackson led Riverdale with 17 points. Jackson was the Rebels’ lone double-digit scorer. Donte Watson added seven.
FONTAINEBLEAU 51, COVINGTON 38: In Covington, Jaclyn Scolvin scored 26 points and Jenna Scholvin added 10, and Fontainebleau used strong defense in the fourth quarter to turn away Covington.
The Lady Bulldogs held Covington to four points in the final quarter.
The Lady Lions led 34-26 after three quarters, but couldn’t keep their lead. Zhancie Parker scored 19 points for Covington. Taylor Singletary added six points.