St. Amant opened the third quarter on a 6-0 run and the fourth on an 8-0 run never looking back on way to 60-50 victory over West Jefferson in the second game of the opening day of the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic Friday evening at EAHS’ gym.


“We got into a different type of press in the third quarter trying to create some turnovers by getting them to play a little faster,” St. Amant head coach Gary Duhe said. “They were athletic but we made them play faster than they wanted to and that created turnovers. It was a good first game. We just have a long way to go in the tournament. We sit back and don’t play till Monday.”


St. Amant opened the third quarter on a 6-0 run and the fourth on an 8-0 run never looking back on way to 60-50 victory over West Jefferson in the second game of the opening day of the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic Friday evening at EAHS’ gym.

“We got into a different type of press in the third quarter trying to create some turnovers by getting them to play a little faster,” St. Amant head coach Gary Duhe said. “They were athletic but we made them play faster than they wanted to and that created turnovers. It was a good first game. We just have a long way to go in the tournament. We sit back and don’t play till Monday.”

St. Amant (14-1) built a 20-point lead in the final frame but West Jefferson closed out the contest on a 7-1 run. The first half saw nine lead changes and five ties. The Gators took advantage of a bye to advance to the semifinals Monday night against Dutchtown, a 52-51 quarterfinal winner over Lutcher. The winner plays in the championship Tuesday night against the East Ascension - South Lafourche victor.

“I thought it was a typical game coming off the holidays, which I thought it would be,” Duhe said. “Neither team played as good as they could have. We looked like we were out of sync some of the time. It looked like we picked up the defensive intensity in the third quarter and starting taking advantage of our press which enabled us to get some easy baskets. In the first half, they were doing a good job of being physical and were knocking us off our cuts legally and we didn’t do a good job of responding to that. Because of that we had a little trouble getting into our offense.

“They were very athletic. We knew that going in. We had to do a good job of blocking out to keep them off our back which we did and take advantage of some back cuts and getting the ball inside. It was a good game for us to play just after Christmas. We practiced hard today and I may have taken something out of them but we just wanted to be ready to play.”

Rashaun Claiborne led St. Amant with 21 points. Brandon Morris added 10, while Nick Morris provided seven and Bruce Mathison and Steve Fulkerson each had five.

West Jefferson (4-7) was led by Marlon Walker with 17 points. Terrell McCall and Kevin Shief each had eight.

“They came out and had the referees on their side and we didn’t,” West Jefferson head coach Rusty Jones said. “It is hard to play when you are playing against seven people.”

Brandon Morris fed Claiborne’s dunk off a steal to open the second half before Claiborne’s putback and Brandon Morris’ dish to Mathison inside. Shief’s drive cut it to 30-26 before Mathison’s pass to Brandon Morris in the left corner for a 3-pointer. McCall’s 3-pointer from the left wing preceded Brandon Morris and Jacob Gauthier’s dishes to Claiborne inside and Claiborne’s pass out to Nick Morris for a 3-pointer from the left wing giving the Gators a 40-29 lead.

Gauthier’s lay up off a steal made it 43-31 going into the final frame after Shief’s pull up in transition.

Brandon Morris hit four free throws to open the fourth quarter before Nick Morris and Brandon Morris’ lay ups off steals put St. Amant ahead 51-31 with 5:54 left to play. Walker’s drive preceded Brandon Morris’ dish to Claiborne inside. Fulkerson’s inside basket after Shief’s free throws preceded Walker’s pull up 3-pointers from opposite wings. McCall’s spin cut it to 57-43 before Brandon Morris’ drive. Mathison’s free throw reflected the final tally after Kadeem Allen’s put back and Walker’s free throws and 3-pointer.

Shief’s drive opened the contest before Fulkerson’s pass out to Brandon Morris for a 3-pointer at the top of the key. Walker’s pull up 3-pointer from the right wing after Shief’s dish to him off an inbounds pass gave West Jefferson a 7-3 lead before Mathison fed Claiborne’s dunk off a steal to knot it up following Nick Morris’ jumper. Brandon Morris’ reverse put St. Amant ahead 11-7 before Shief fed Erick Hauverman for a 3-pointer on the right wing and Walker pulled up. Brandon Morris drove lane to give St. Amant a 14-12 lead going into the second quarter.

Jamal Green and Claiborne traded free throws to open the second stanza before Hauverman’s putback and one after McCall’s lay up off a steal gave the Bucaneers a 19-17 lead. Mathison’s dish to Brandon Morris inside preceded Jamon Brown’s putback before Claiborne’s drive and one. Chris Grady’s put back cut St. Amant’s lead to 24-23 at half-time.