Perhaps this was the turning point Belaire basketball coach Marvin Dotson sought.
After watching his team suffer through eight consecutive defeats — all by less than 10 points — the No. 10-seeded Bengals pulled away for a 70-57 victory Tuesday over No. 7 Lee Magnet in the first round of the Bob Pettit/Coca-Cola East Baton Rouge Parish tournament at McKinley.
“Our record does not indicate how hard and how well our guys have played,” said Dotson, who will faces his former team, No. 2 McKinley, at 6 p.m. Wednesday. “Right now I’m more excited for my guys. We’ve had some heartbreaking losses. They really deserved to win.”
Sixth-seeded Broadmoor earned a second-round matchup at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday with third-seeded Baker, turning a close first-quarter encounter with No. 11 Mentorship Academy into a comfortable 86-54 victory.
“We’ve only lost once in December so far,” Broadmoor coach Terrance Gillette said. “We’re on a win streak (six) and Baker’s a very good opponents. Coach James (Holmes) does a great job with them, and they have a lot of height. We’re hoping it’s a good battle.”
Top-seeded Scotlandville closes second-round action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, taking on eighth-seeded Woodlawn, a 46-35 winner over Tara.
Another winner bracket game has fifth-seeded Glen Oaks, a 62-25 winner over Capitol, facing fourth-seeded Zachary, who routed Northeast 82-44, at 3 p.m.
BELAIRE 70, LEE 57: The Bengals, who previously dropped a pair of two-point games and a one-point contest, stretched a 34-24 halftime lead into a 50-34 advantage but Lee answered with a pair of 3-pointers from Zach Castle and Zavier Sims.
The Rebels (2-11) closed to within six points (55-49) with 3:17 to play on Sidney Hearns’ driving layup when the Bengals, who dressed out eight players, forced four of their 19 turnovers.
A pair of free throws from DJ Boyd stopped Lee’s surge and keyed Belaire (2-8), who converted three straight turnovers into points. Darrion Edwards scored on two layups, and Theodis Harrison added another to make it 65-51 with 2:12 to go.
“We’re a young team, and we’re in the process of learning how to play through certain things,” said Lee coach Brandon White, whose team shot 36 percent and was led by Sims and Andrew Davison with 10 points apiece. “Belaire did a good job of applying some pressure to us, and that may have rattled us a bit.”
Harrison scored 13 of his team-high 18 in the second half, with Dalyus Bush adding 15 and Boyd 11.
“That was the total opposite of what’s been happening to us,” said Dotson, whose team shot 49 percent (24 of 49). “The last few games we could never quite get over that hump. We got over that hump, and that’s why I’m excited for our guys.”
BROADMOOR 86, MENTORSHIP 54: There were six ties in the opening quarter before Broadmoor finished on a 9-4 run to take a 24-19 lead.
Sam Brimmer Jr. and Rahim Bell combined for 14 of their team’s points for Mentorship (3-14). Brimmer led all scorers with 29 points.
Broadmoor (11-7) repelled a Mentorship run midway through the second quarter and ended the quarter with an 11-0 surge that Namir Jones capped with consecutive baskets for a 50-32 advantage.
Broadmoor used its size and leaping ability inside for a decided rebound advantage, and the Buccaneers’ balanced scoring with four double-figure scorers proved too much for Mentorship, which was outscored 36-22 in the second half.
Nigel Jones topped Broadmoor with 25 followed by Namir Jones’ 23. Isaiah Washington added 14 and Erin Nealond 10.