East Ascension’s Quinn Coco nailed the deciding free throws with 34.3 seconds remaining as the Spartans handed South Lafourche their first loss of the season, 51-50, in the semifinal of the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic Monday night at EAHS’ gym.


“We were better tonight at the free throw line and you have to be good in these kind of games to win,” East Ascension head coach Kenny Almond said. “I think South Lafourche gets every bit out of their ability. They are just tough to play against. Our guys hung in there. I knew it was going to be a frustrating game. We knew it was going to be close.”


East Ascension’s Quinn Coco nailed the deciding free throws with 34.3 seconds remaining as the Spartans handed South Lafourche their first loss of the season, 51-50, in the semifinal of the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic Monday night at EAHS’ gym.

“We were better tonight at the free throw line and you have to be good in these kind of games to win,” East Ascension head coach Kenny Almond said. “I think South Lafourche gets every bit out of their ability. They are just tough to play against. Our guys hung in there. I knew it was going to be a frustrating game. We knew it was going to be close.”

South Lafourche (17-1) had one last chance with .5 seconds remaining but Gary Weber intercepted the inbounds pass to preserve the win.

“They had some lucky breaks at the end,” South Lafourche head coach Brian Callais said. “Our guys fought hard and showed a lot of character.”

Coco led all scorers with 19 points. Keith Fleming and Ferrell Strode each added eight.
South Lafourche was led by Caden Cheramie with 14 points. Ryan Leday provided 12 and Rusty Borne contributed 10.

There were 13 lead changes and nine ties throughout the tightly contested game.

“It exactly was a war,” Almond said. “I think there was some inconsistency in the officiating. There were touch fouls and hard fouls. Down the stretch we made a couple (mistakes) but we made a couple of good plays.”

Leday’s spin with 1.8 seconds remaining in the third quarter put South Lafourche ahead 37-36 going into the final stanza. Corey Lane’s put back gave East Ascension the lead before Josh Badeaux’s lay up off a steal and Callais’ dish to Leday inside off pressure put the Tarpons ahead.

“You can’t press them a lot and get away with it,” Almond said. “You can sneak it in here or there. They got one breakaway and easy lay up but it did help us a time or two. You stick with it very long and they are going to lay it up.”

Coco’s pull up knotted it up 43-43 before Kenny Varnado’s dish to a driving Weber and Strode’s bucket off an inbounds pass put East Ascension ahead.

“Quinn is our most experienced player and I think our guys know that,” Almond said. “He is pretty good one on one off the dribble so we try to get him the ball when we can.”

Cameron Esponge nailed two free throws with 37.2 seconds remaining just before Coco’s. Borne would miss a runner in the closing seconds before Lane rebounded and was fouled.

East Ascension (16-2) led 27-20 at half-time but Borne’s inside bucket and Esponge’s floater opened the half before Weber found Strode inside. Cheramie’s lay up off a steal knotted it up 29-29 after Callais’ 3-pointer from the top of the key. Leday’s lay up of Cheramie’s steal put South Lafourche ahead 33-29 but Coco converted off a steal before Weber found him inside.

“We had a few breakdowns on defense,” Callais said. “We tried doubling the basketball when we shouldn’t have been and we left guys wide open.”

Weber fed Strode inside to put East Ascension ahead 6-4 in the first quarter but South Lafourche used a 6-0 run capped by Leday’s dish to Borne off a steal. Varnado’s free throw cut it to 14-11 going into the second frame.

Off the 22 total points scored in the second quarter, 14 came from the charity stripe. Fleming’s put back opened the stanza.