For virtually the first time in the game, Episcopal’s Chris Beckman Jr. had time to set his feet and buried his only 3-pointer of the game.
With 2:25 remaining, that turned out to be the lift Beckman needed which was part of a late-game surge that enabled Episcopal to pull away Friday from Port Barre 57-46.
“It was an out-of-bounds (play) and we lost Beckman and that was a back-breaker,” Port Barre coach Andy Aymond said.
Beckman was saddled with foul trouble and didn’t score a point in the first half. He responded with nine of his 13 points in the last four minutes of play, fueling an 11-0 run that resulted in a 57-44 advantage with 10.1 seconds left.
“Chris struggled for three quarters and found it at the end,” Episcopal coach Chris Beckman Sr. “We can’t have Chris and Kevin (Tripeaux) not scoring and expect to beat a good team like Port Barre. We were very fortunate because we have to do a better job of taking care of the ball.”
In order to extend its win streak to nine games, Episcopal (19-2) overcame a determined effort from Port Barre (13-5), which won four its last five games.
The Knights shot 38 percent in the first half — a span where they suffered 15 of their 22 turnovers.
With Beckman held scoreless and Tripeaux limited to five of his nine points, the Knights led 25-23 at halftime on the strength of contributions from a pair of reserves.
Guard William Harrell scored six of his eight points on a pair of 3-pointers and forward Cameron Kennedy replaced an injured Gavin Perkins in the starting lineup and matched Beckman’s 13 points.
Forward Christian Andrus scored all 16 of his points in the second half, powering Port Barre to as much as a three-point lead in the third quarter.
The teams were tied six times in the quarter before Episcopal took the lead for good at 40-38 on Harrell’s two free throws with 6:51 to play.
Port Barre, which made 3 of 13 shots in the final quarter and was outscored 19-8, went nearly the last four minutes without a field goal until Andrus’ putback with 2.2 seconds left.
Beckman’s 3-pointer touched off a stretch of 11 unanswered points that included 6-of-8 free throw shooting with a pair from Tripeaux capping the run.
“It was good for us when other guys stepped up and we were able to beat a quality team,” coach Beckman said. “We battled and hopefully we can learn from it.”