CENTRAL — The 34th annual Charles T. Kinsley tournament kicked off Wednesday night at Central High School, where the two-time defending tournament champion Scotlandville defeated Pointe Coupee Central, 98-31.

Catholic High notched a victory in the second game, cruising past Career Academy 77-36 in punching a ticket to the winner’s bracket of the tournament.

Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said he was pleased with his team’s effort to open the game.

“I think, all and all, we exerted good energy, and got after it pretty good, and that’s all I can ask for,” Sample said.

The Hornets were led by senior Damien Jones with 17 points. Brian Bridgewater chipped in 13 points, while the Cougars were led by Bob Hurst with 11 points.

Scotlandville was able to jump out to a 15-0 lead, aided by the perimeter shooting of Vincent Sanders, who made three 3-pointers in the first quarter.

Scotlandville maintained its momentum in the second quarter and took a 44-8 halftime lead into the locker room.

“We came out aggressive on both ends,” Sample said. “We had a flow and a little rhythm. We defended and shot the ball well and we shot the ball well early.”

It was clear that Scotlandville wanted to take advantage of its height inside and made that a point of emphasis.

“We play the game inside-out, “Sample said. “You can’t live and die on the perimeter. You’ve got to have something on the inside if you want to be a good team and be successful as a team in the long haul.”

Despite the margin of victory, Sample said his team still has room for improvement.

“Defense and rebounding, we have to be much more consistent,” Sample said. “It has to be one-and —– done. We can’t let teams get second chance points on us. We have got to get the loose balls and be better at the free-throw line.”

In the second game of the tournament, the Bears (4-4) were led by sophomore Michael Giorlando with 13 points. Career Academy’s Pat Payne led all scorers with 14 points.

Catholic broke out to a 33-15 halftim lead.

“I thought we set the tone by taking charges early,” Catholic coach Michael Toups said. “Their kids played hard but we worked to get good shots and we do have some guys that can shoot it. We were able to get to the basket, so it was an ideal situation for us.”

The Bears expanded on their lead in the second half.

“We just told our kids to continue to play hard and share the ball, to have that same tenacity when you come out and play the second half,” Toups said. “We need to work on that to put a team away and not let them hang around. “

The Bears will square off against Glen Oaks on Thursday, while Scotlandville takes on Tara in the winner’s bracket of the tournament.