This isn't the young East Ascension team that fought through growing pains in a losing season in 2014-15. This Spartan squad keeps winning and winning in style.

This isn't the young East Ascension team that fought through growing pains in a losing season in 2014-15. This Spartan squad keeps winning and winning in style.

East Ascension cruised to their sixth straight victory on Friday night as they walloped East Feliciana, 87-60, in the Gold Dome Classic at St. Amant.

But like any head coach, Barry Whittington, Jr. still saw areas where his team needs work. He was not pleased with how his team performed early in the third quarter when the Tigers cut the Spartans' lead to 12.

"When our reserves came in, we lost something intensity-wise, skill-wise and production-wise. I was upset that they closed the gap because it shouldn't have been closed," Whittington said. "Things that we were allowing them to do were fundamental things that should never happen, and I was upset about that. On the flipside, I'm glad that the guys that start for us understood what was going on and were able to gets stops when we needed them."

It didn't take long for East Ascension to take control. Shedrick Smith and Le'Aaron Cain drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to race out to a 12-4 advantage.

Cain kept the hot hand as he made two more treys to jump the lead to 18-8.

The Spartan defense was just as good. Their tenacious pressure caused a flurry of turnovers that resulted in easy transition points. An 8-0 run to end the quarter put them up 27-8.

To start the second, a beautiful dish by Jimel London inside to Justin Harris put the Spartans up by 24.

However, East Ascension got a little sloppy with the ball at the end of the quarter. With East Feliciana's Cedrick Anderson, Jr. hitting shots, the Tigers were able to go on a 12-2 run to end the half.

East Feliciana scored two straight buckets to start the third quarter that cut the lead down to 12.

That's when Cain took control for the Spartans. He quickly scored four straight points to push the advantage back to 16.

Bilal Frank made an acrobatic layup. He then made a steal and followed it with another layup to get the lead back to 24.

East Ascension ended the third quarter with an 18-2 run that gave them a 29-point advantage heading into the fourth. From there, they cruised to an 87-60 victory.

Twelve different players scored for the Spartans. Four scored in double-figures.

Cain was the leader as he made six 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 28 points.

"He's our leading scorer. He's probably averaging over 20 points per game right now. He plays really hard on both sides of the floor," Whittington said. "He can score in a variety of ways--in the paint, mid-range, the 3-point line, in all levels of the floor. I'm glad that he came out today and was really impressive."

Smith, London and Jarvis Moll all scored 10 points.

The victory pushed East Ascension to 9-1 overall after a 3-7 start last season.

Coach Whittington is thrilled with how his team has evolved since last year. He is especially happy with how they've been playing on the defensive end.

"I think we've played a lot better on defense. In my first season, I tried to run some zone stuff, zone pressure and things like that, but when we were playing our best basketball at the end of the season, we were playing man-to-man defense," Whittington said. "This summer, we really stressed guarding our men and rotating properly, and I think that has paid off dividends because we get a lot of our points off of transition from the stops we make."