East Ascension opened the game on a 6-0 run and closed out the first half on a 12-0 run on way to a 74-37 victory over Denham Springs Friday night in the final game of the opening day of the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic at EAHS’ gym.


“We started much better than we did the other night and that helped a lot,” East Ascension head coach Kenny Almond said.  “We knew we could (press), so we started early with that and we played (point guard) Gary Weber inside. I thought he did a good job posting up in their zone and was very effective. Denham Springs is young and they are building a program. I thought they played hard the whole game.”


East Ascension opened the game on a 6-0 run and closed out the first half on a 12-0 run on way to a 74-37 victory over Denham Springs Friday night in the final game of the opening day of the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic at EAHS’ gym.

“We started much better than we did the other night and that helped a lot,” East Ascension head coach Kenny Almond said.  “We knew we could (press), so we started early with that and we played (point guard) Gary Weber inside. I thought he did a good job posting up in their zone and was very effective. Denham Springs is young and they are building a program. I thought they played hard the whole game.”

East Ascension (15-2) had defeated Denham Springs 73-47 Tuesday night. The hosting Spartans advanced to the semifinals of the tournament Monday night against South Lafourche with a, 58-49, victory over Walker Saturday. The winner advances to the finals Tuesday night against the St. Amant - Dutchtown victor.

“We played hard and when we don’t foul we are in pretty good shape,” Almond said.  “Foul trouble could hurt us quick but we have seven or eight that can play in meaningful minutes so that is good. Last year,  we were real vulnerable with just five guys. An injury could have really killed us.”

Quinn Coco led East Ascension with 16 points. Weber added 15, while Corey Lane provided 13 and Kenny Varnado and Curtis Watts each had eight.

Denham Springs (2-12) was led by Wes Hoover with 10 points. Jack Fridge added eight and Randy Lathers provided seven.

“We just didn’t shoot the ball well like we did the other night in the first half,” Denham Springs head coach Wynn Wingate said. “I don’t think it had anything to do with their press. It did the same damage it did the other night but not putting the ball in the hole prevented us from being able to compete. When you go down by a bunch early, the rim looks big for the other team. It got out of hand too early.”

Coco’s pull up jumper and putback sandwiched Weber’s lay up off a steal to open the contest. Fridge drove baseline to put the Yellow Jackets on the board before Coco fed Keith Fleming inside, Varnado in the right corner for a 19 footer and Lane in transition. Lane’s pull up jumper in transition preceded Hoover’s inside bucket which cut it to 14-4 going into the second quarter.

Denham Springs only managed three points in the second quarter, all on free throws as East Ascension built a 23-7 lead on Coco’s lay up off a steal and dish to Weber inside. Ricky Hope’s free throw preceded the Spartans’ run to close out the quarter courtesy of Coco’s pull up near the free throw line, Varnado’s coast to coast lay up in transition, Lane’s dish to Weber off a steal, Weber’s put back, Coco’s length of the court lay up off a steal and Lane’s dish to Coco in transition at the buzzer to make it 35-7 at half-time.

East Ascension didn’t let up in the third quarter outscoring Denham Springs 27-16. Lane’s baseline jumper made it 44-9 after Fleming’s bucket and one and Coco’s dish to Weber inside. Hoover’s drive preceded Weber’s and one before Fridge’s inside bucket and drive in transition.

Weber’s lay up off a steal preceded Blake Racca’s put back and one before Lane fed Tyler Wright inside. Hoover’s floater across the lane and baseline drive cut it to 53-23 before Kerry Weber and Lane traded dishes to one another inside, Bobby Madere fed Lane off a steal and Wright converted a lay up off a steal and one to give  the Spartans a 62-23 lead going into the final frame.
 

Watts’ dish to Ferrell Strode inside opened the fourth quarter before Taylor Parker’s dish to Hoover inside, Rashad Muse’s pull up jumper and Patrick Cox’s pass to Lathers inside. Watts’ free throws preceded Lathers’ drive and put back before Kerry Weber fed Watts for a 3-pointer near the top of the key. Taylor Fletcher’s turnaround jumper reflected the final tally after Watts and Varnado’s free throws sandwiched Lathers’ put back.