St. Amant coach Travis Uzee was unhappy with the way his team played defense in a win over Booker T. Washington on Thursday.

On Friday, the Gators turned in an effort more to his liking.

St. Amant held Zachary to five first-quarter points and was never threatened as it finished off the Broncos 59-43 at the Walker Christmas Challenge.

“We were a little motivated by the way we played (Thursday),” Uzee said. “I think our kids wanted to show that’s not who we are.”

In the first quarter, St. Amant (13-2) showed it was a team that could keep Zachary from running its offense. The Broncos (5-8) had nine turnovers and managed only five field goal attempts, and trailed 20-5 entering the second quarter.

Jimmy Pittman, who led St. Amant with 15 points, had two driving baskets and a 3-pointer to give the Gators a 7-0 lead. The lead grew to 13-3 on Joshua Gibson’s free throws, and K.J. Franklin’s 3-pointer helped the Gators take a 15-point lead.

In the second quarter, Franklin and PIttman hit 3-pointers to extend the St. Amant lead to 37-18 at halftime.

The Broncos never got closer that 16 points in the second half.

Chaun Moore and Darian Ward each scored nine points for Zachary. St. Amant’s Jabari Daley scored 13, and Franklin had 11.

Gibson, who is transitioning from playing football, scored eight to impress Uzee.

“We got great guard play, and our big man (Gibson) did a great job defensively, and he scored some points,” Uzee said. “He’s starting to get back into basketball shape and looks much better.”

EAST ASCENSION 81, BOOKER T. WASHINGTON 49: The Spartans (7-3) pulled away from the Lions in the third quarter to turn their game with the Lions into a route.

Washington had eight turnovers in the first four minutes of the quarter helping EA extend a 13-point halftime lead to 18 points, 57-35.

The lead grew to 30 points twice in the fourth quarter.

“We played really well, but we’ve got so many young guys that still need to learn the nuances of the game, and the game within the game,” EA coach Barry Whittington said. “With every game, I think we’re getting better.”

The Lions only trailed 35-29 after Tyrese Johnson’s free throws with three minutes left in the first half. The Spartans outscored Washington 9-2 to take a 44-31 lead into the break.

Dontae Jackson had a steal and four points during the run.

Hobert Grayson scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter to spark EA. For the game, the Spartans made 10 3-pointers, including four by Shedrick Smith and three by Deshon Hall.

Smith finished with 12, while Hall scored 11. Cameron Dunbar made two 3-pointers and had 10 points.

Tyrese Johnson and Michael Johnson each scored 10 to lead the Lions.

“I think it was a total team effort,” Whittington said.

WALKER 66, McKINLEY 55: Jalen Perkins and Jalen Cook led the Wildcats (14-2) as they separated from the Panthers (10-5) in the second half.

Perkins scored seven points and Cook had five as Walker outscored McKinley 18-9 to take a 45-35 lead after three quarters.

McKinley battled back behind the play of Tyrece Radford, who led all scorers with 31 points.