LAKE CHARLES — Freshman guard Ja’Vonte Smart already had a ton of accolades. Now the 6-foot-3 guard has a place in Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Top 28 lore.
Smart made a 3-pointer with five seconds left to send the game to overtime and then scored eight more points in overtime as third-seeded Scotlandville High escaped with 62-60 victory over No. 7 C.E. Byrd Tuesday night.
The Hornets’ top 3-point shooter, Jordan Adebutu, had fouled out with 14.7 seconds. Byrd standout Chad Lott missed both free throws, leaving the door open for Scotlandville.
Smart, who finished with a game-high 17 points on 5 of 11 shooting, marched through it, making a jumper from the top of the key to tie the game played at Burton Coliseum. It was his first 3-pointer of the night, though he would add two more in overtime.
“In the huddle coach was like who is going to shoot the game- (winning) shot,” Smart said. “I said, ‘I’ve got this.’ ”
With the victory, the Hornets (32-4) advance to the 5A title game for for the sixth straight year. Scotlandville faces top-seeded Natchitoches Central (29-2), a 49-43 winner over Higgins in the other semifinal at 8 p.m. Friday. A crowd of 3,589 fans attended the four-game session that opened the five-day tourney.
The 6-foot-3 Smart, who Sample said is a distance cousin of former McKinley player and Indiana hero Keith Smart, led a balanced attack. Adebutu had 15 points with four 3-pointers. LaMarcus Lee and Garrick Green each had 12. Green pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
Demetri Mahoney also had 17 points for Shreveport-based Byrd (26-6), which made its first tourney appearance since 1997. Kory Ashley (15), Lott (13) and Montrey Thomas (11) also paced the Yellow Jackets.
NEW LIVING WORD 62, ELIZABETH 58: Defending champion New Living Word had just enough to outlast Elizabeth in the first Class C semifinal.
Third-seeded NLW (31-10) advances to play No. 1 Atlanta (31-5) in the Class C final set for 4 p.m. Friday. The Lions pushed their lead to 10 points, at 48-38, through three quarters. But No. 2 Elizabeth got within two at 60-58 on a 3-pointer by Colby LaFauci with 1:03 remaining.
Xavier Roper, who led NLW with 22 points and 12 rebounds, blocked a shot in the closing seconds to help clinch the win. Xavious Williams added 17 and Kwantavious Harris had 11 for the winners.
LaFauci had a game-high 23 points for Elizabeth (27-8). Kolby Friday (14) and Trey Maddox (12) were other Elizabeth leaders.
ATLANTA 56, GIBSLAND-COLEMAN 36: Atlanta outscored No. 4 Gibsland-Coleman 37-17 in the second half in the the other Class C semifinal.
Taren Sapp scored 18 second-half points to help power the Bulldogs (31-5). He finished with a game-high 25 points, and Lashard Powell added 13. Xavian Haulcy led Gibsland-Coleman (22-7) with 18 points.
Gibsland-Coleman led 11-8 after one quarter. The scored was tied at 19 at halftime. Atlanta took control with a 16-9 third-quarter run.