ST. AMANT — St. Amant was happy to get a 53-49 overtime victory against Denham Springs, and they were even happier to be able to do it in front of their home crowd at the Gold Dome.
The Dome is finally back open for St. Amant’s basketball team after a two-year hiatus following flood damage in 2016.
The game against Denham Springs (4-3) was the second home game for St. Amant, and Thursday night’s games tipped off St. Amant’s Gold Dome Classic.
“It’s amazing. It really is,” St. Amant coach Travis Uzee said. “It’s a great thing for our community. Our booster guys are really excited to be back in here. It’s been a whirlwind the last couple years, but kind of settling back in, and these kids have never played here before. They’re getting to play in their home gym so that’s a neat deal. We hope we can keep playing and get in the right side of the win column.”
The win didn’t come easy for the Gators (3-1). St. Amant held a lead for most of the game, but Denham Springs took a 37-35 lead on a 10-3 run halfway through the fourth quarter.
The Gators reclaimed the lead after two made free throws on four attempts by Javin Augillard. Then the Yellow Jackets' Xavier Miles, who finished with 17 points, tied the game at 41 with a baseline jumper to send the game to overtime.
Augillard opened the extra period with back-to-back layups, but Denham Springs once again fought back to tie the game 49.
St. Amant’s Destin Barker was the difference at the end. He was fouled in the backcourt after and inbounds pass went awry. He sank two free throws with 7.1 seconds left, and then came up with a loose ball when Denham Springs tried get the ball up court.
Barker sank another two free throws with ease to ice the game at 53-49.
“He’s one of our best shooters,” said Uzee of Barker, who ended up with 12 points and five of St. Amant’s 12 points in overtime. “He might be the biggest kid on the team, but he (also) might be one of our best shooters.
"So we he got to the free throw line he’s a high free throw percentage shooter in general, so we when he made the first two I felt good about the second two. He’s a great kid and deserved to make those shots."
Uzee said the team has to do a better job executing the little things going forward, and they have some things to improve on communication wise.
For Denham Springs the loss disappointing, but coach Kevin Caballero was proud of the way his team fought and said he found out his team's identity.
"We're not the fancy 3-point shooting team, but we played hard and (Miles) made some plays," Caballero said. "We made a 3 there late and we got it into overtime, but it is who makes the last play and they did it."