PORT ALLEN — Pictures on the gymnasium wall still serve as reminders of Kirby Loupe’s past coaching successes at Port Allen, but the Pelicans wanted to pin a loss on Loupe on Friday night.
Instead, Loupe’s Brusly team had its way and never trailed en route to a 52-41 District 6-3A win at Port Allen.
Michael Bryant and Jason Holliday led Brusly (17-7, 7-3). Bryant made four 3-pointers and led all scorers with 20 points. Holliday had 13 rebounds, 17 points and six assists.
“It was a big game for me personally. I coached here for 10 years,” said Loupe, whose team also beat Port Allen 74-68 at Brusly on Jan. 12.
“I coached some of their kids’ older brothers, and I know their families.
“Port Allen has really owned this rivalry the last four or five years, but we’re kind of getting over the hump.”
Port Allen (15-8, 6-3) slips a half game behind second-place Brusly in district play. Both teams trail University High, but a second-place district finish wasn’t on the mind of Port Allen coach Brandon Ricard.
“They don’t award you a half point any more for second in district,” Ricard said. “Whether or not we finish second doesn’t bother me as much as the way we played.”
Port Allen opened the game ice cold, hitting just 3 of 11 shots while falling behind 17-6 after one quarter. The Pelicans could only get as close as six points from there out, once each in the second and third quarters.
The turning point came midway through the third quarter with Brusly leading 29-23. The Pelicans forced a turnover, but DeQuinton Davenport missed a layup. The Panthers quickly got the ball upcourt to Bryant, who hit a 3-pointer from the right wing for a 32-23 lead.
Nigel Allen, who scored 31 for Port Allen in the previous meeting with Brusly, was limited to 17 points. He was the only Pelican in double figures.
“I thought we did an outstanding job guarding Nigel,” Loupe said. “Jasper Queen did a good job guarding him, but I thought we did a good job guarding him as a team.”
Brusly led 40-29 entering the fourth quarter. Holliday had two assists and also made two free throws as the Panthers pushed the lead to 48-34.
Port Allen forced two turnovers, and Allen scored twice to slice Brusly’s lead to 10 points. Holliday sandwiched a pair of free throws around another assist, and Port Allen never got as close as 10 points again.
For the game, Port Allen shot 36 percent (18 of 50).
“We didn’t shoot well because we didn’t execute on offense,” Ricard said. “We were standing around; we didn’t set any picks. We let them clog everything up.”