GONZALES — Scotlandville spread the ball around like it was handing out late Christmas gifts Monday night at East Ascension.
The Hornets dished out 25 assists as they overcame an early deficit and overwhelmed the Spartans 80-60 in non-district action.
East Ascension (5-6) came ready to play. The Spartans made their first three shots, and quickly took a 7-0 lead, but Scotlandville (11-3) came charging back.
In the first half, every pass the Hornets made seemed to be the right one. They made 16 of 20 shots in the first half with 14 of the baskets coming off an assist. Scotlandville’s lead was 50-30 at halftime, and East Ascension got no closer than 15 points in the second half.
“We’ve been talking about our defense carrying us, but offensively we were in a rhythm tonight,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said. “One thing that really impressed me was that we shared the basketball.
“We did a real good job of sharing the ball and not just getting shots, but getting good shots.”
For the game, Scotlandville finished at 67% from the field (28 for 42) and made 8 of 16 from 3-point range.
Zaheem Jackson made four 3-pointers and totaled 26 points. Also hitting double figures were Emareyon McDonald (24 points) and Cody Fleming (14 points).
East Ascension picked up its shooting in the second half, but the closest it could get was at 75-60 after a 10-2 run late in the game.
The Spartans, who made 25 of 50 shots, got big games from Keith Thomas (25 points) and Troy Dunn (19 points).
“There’s an old school adage, ‘You’ve got to make more baskets than the other team,’ and that’s what the heck they did tonight,” East Ascension coach Tyler Turner said. “Every time they shot the ball it went in. They’re not the No. 1 team in the state for no reason. They’re well-coached and made the baskets they needed to make.
“We played hard and didn’t quit. Our kids kept playing and kept fighting.”
In the first quarter, Dunn hit a 3-pointer and Thomas added a pair of baskets as East Ascension took a 7-0 lead before Scotlandville got off its first shot. It did not take Scotlandville long to rally.
Cody Fleming’s 3-pointer tied the game at 10 and started a 16-0 run for the Hornets. Scotlandville made six free throws during the run and led 25-13 C’Zavian Teasett fed Jackson for a basket.
In the second quarter, Scotlandville made all nine of its shots from the field, a hot streak that included four 3-pointers. Early in the quarter, East Ascension trailed 29-15 before scoring on four consecutive possessions. It didn’t matter as Scotlandville did the same to maintain a 14-point lead.
With time running out in the half, John Hubbard drove the baseline before kicking the ball out to Jackson, whose buzzer-beating 3-pointer capped a 16-5 Scotlandville run to close out the first half.