Karr opened play in the Country Day Classic on Friday with a 71-55 win over Covington.

The Cougars led comfortably most of the game and had a 20-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

A 14-0 Covington run rallied the Lions to within six points with less than four minutes to play and Karr had to re-insert its starters to halt the rally.

“We wanted to get our younger guys some playing time and get them some more experience,” Karr coach Tauras Howard said. “I expected those guys to have some difficulty, but I we have to limit turnovers as a team.”

The Lions struggled to string together any momentum during the first three quarters, trailing 37-27 at halftime. Nick Cyprian gave Karr trouble all night. Cyprian led all scorers with 21, including 13 in the first half, and had five assists.

Marquez Marigny also provided a spark and scored seven of his 10 points in the second half.

Despite the abundance of young players, coach Mike Smith was pleased with his team’s effort.

“We didn’t do a good job of taking of the ball when we had possessions,” said Smith, whose team trailed 37-27 at halftime. “We are really young and have a long way to go. We played a really good fourth quarter on defense.

“We forced turnovers and made plays. We just simply ran out of gas.”

Junior Tyree Johnson scored 12 for Karr.

SCOTLANDVILLE 47, WEST JEFFERSON 38: After a close first 30 minutes, Scotlandville was finally able to pull away from West Jefferson in the final two minutes in the Country Day Classic.

Ja’Vante Smart keyed Scotlandville’s late surge by scoring seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter. Smart’s 3-pointer with less than minute to play put Hornets up by five.

“Ja’Vante is very important to our game plan, but like any other player he is still learning,” Hornets coach Carlos Sample of Smart, a freshman. “Every game is not going to be a great game for him, but it definitely needs to be a constant learning game. He made some big plays for us, but he also helped his team defensively.”

Senior Larmarcus Lee added 10 points for the Hornets, including 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch to secure the nine-point victory.

Joshua Roberts led Scotlandville, last season’s Class 5A state runnerup, with 15 points and had five assists.

“I expected more from our kids, but we just didn’t play like we know we can,” Sample said. “Nothing special took place, but we just decided to play some ball in the last couple of minutes. We just have to get better.”

Jonathan Dalton kept West Jefferson in the game by scoring a game-high 16 points. While the Bucs were able to stay with the Hornets most of the game, free throws hurt. The Bucs made just 3 of 13 from the foul line. We didn’t execute at all tonight and we paid the price for it,” West Jefferson coach Brian Simmons said.

“We missed 10 free throws and we lost by nine. We brought this on ourselves. We had chances, but just didn’t take advantage of them.”

Scotlandville will play John Curtis at 5 p.m. Saturday.