New coach keeps East Ascension boys basketball on a roll
This season, the transitions for the East Ascension Spartans boys basketball team went beyond the on-court shifts from offense to defense. Tyler Turner, an assistant under successful head coach Barry Whittington, was elevated to head coach when Whittington accepted a job as an assistant principal at Dutchtown High School.
“We haven’t made a lot of changes, just building on what coach Whit and the staff have built," Turner said.
The Spartans are 19-14 overall and finished 3-2 in the highly competitive district 5-5A. Turner said he expected his team to be a ninth or 10th seed when the official playoff bracket comes out.
The leading scorer for the Spartans is Hobert Grayson, with averages of 19 points and eight rebounds per game. “Hobert Grayson is our leader and has some interest to play at the next level," Turner said.
Other top players include Trevion Joseph (7.9 points per game, 3.9 rebounds), Cameron Dunbar (7.4 points per game, 2.5 rebounds) and Camryn Carter (9.3 points per game, 4.5 rebounds). Another player who has come on of late is football standout Steven McBride, who "brings a ton of energy and athleticism to our team," Turner said.
Some areas of strength for the Spartans include defensive communication and consistent ball movement on offense. “We have several guys that can score," Turner said. "Teams can’t just focus on one guy."
On the other hand, Turner said he saw a need for continued improvement on defense.
Catholic High of Baton Rouge won the district, but playing teams like St. Amant and Dutchtown will prepare the Spartans for the playoffs.
“Our entire district will make the playoffs; all of the teams can make a run," Turner said.
The Spartans will host a playoff game on Friday, and Turner thinks the 5A playoffs will be exciting.
“I do believe 5A has several teams that can win it, most notably Walker, Ouachita Parish, Thibodaux and Natchitoches Central," Turner said. "That being said, we will be ready, and anything can happen."
Ascension Parish all-stars
The Louisiana High School Coaches Association East vs. West all-star basketball games will be March 16 at Bossier Parish Community College, 6220 E. Texas St., Bossier City. The girls will play at 1 p.m., and the boys will play at 3 p.m.
One of those on the East boys all-star team is Nicholas Caldwell, a senior at Dutchtown High School.
One of those on the East girls all-star team is Tristen Washington, a senior at East Ascension High School.
St. Amant girls head coach Kristy Englade will be an assistant for the East squad. For the full rosters, visit lhsca.org.
Ascension Parish boys basketball bi-district playoffs
District 5A playoff games on Friday include:
- No. 26 Captain Shreve at No. 7 Dutchtown
- No. 23 Denham Springs at No. 10 East Ascension
- No. 20 West Jefferson at No. 13 St. Amant.
District 3A playoff games on Friday include:
- No. 26 St. James at No. 7 Donaldsonville.
In District 4, No. 9 Ascension Catholic has a bye and will travel to No. 8 St. Martin at a time to be announced.
Ascension Christian opted out of the playoffs.