For St. Amant to assure themselves a first-round home playoff game, they had to do something they hadn't done in four years: beat East Ascension in the Gold Dome.

For St. Amant to assure themselves a first-round home playoff game, they had to do something they hadn't done in four years: beat East Ascension in the Gold Dome.

To pull it off, they went to a guy that was a freshman starting guard on that 2015 team. K.J. Franklin did damage then, and he did it again last Friday night as he scored 17 points in a 77-66 win for the Gators.

"We saw some really big plays from a kid that has been making big plays for four years," St. Amant head coach Travis Uzee said. "In the second half, I told K.J. that he's gonna decide this thing one way or another, and in true K.J. form, he did everything he could to get the win."

It was the first time the two teams met in the Gold Dome in three years, due to the damage caused by the Flood of 2016. The Gators were looking to bounce back after they dropped a 68-61 contest to the Spartans on the road a month earlier.

Uzee thought that the biggest key to his team's victory this time around were the adjustments they made.

"We thought we were going too fast in the second half of the first game," Uzee said. "They want to play fast, and we're not as comfortable doing that this year. We much rather it be a little bit slower of a game.

"Last time we played these guys, we made some shots to get up, but then we stopped making those shots, and we never adjusted to the speed. In this one, we did a much better job on both ends to beat a really, really talented team."

East Ascension carried a 13-9 lead into the second quarter, and they began that period with a steal and dunk by Hobert Grayson that put them up six.

However, Franklin helped the Gators storm back.

He hit a jumper that got them within two. Later, he completed a four-point play to give St. Amant a 25-23 advantage.

An and-one play by Gavin Harris put them up five, but right before the half, East Ascension's Cameron Carter made a layup to trim the deficit to 31-28 heading to the break.

To begin the third quarter, Connor Adams drilled a 3-pointer to put St. Amant ahead by six, but the Spartans went on a 6-0 run to tie the game.

To end the period, Javin Augillard raced down court, pulled up and nailed a trey at the buzzer that regained St. Amant a 51-48 lead heading into the final quarter.

To begin the fourth, Franklin drilled a 3-pointer of his own to give the Gators their biggest lead of the game at eight. Later, a put-back by Kenyon Hebert stretched the advantage to nine.

Grayson tried to keep East Ascension in it. He came up with a steal and followed it up with a dunk that got the Spartans within five, but that's as close as they would get.

St. Amant was nearly flawless from the free-throw line down the stretch. It allowed them to pull away with a 77-66 victory.

Leading the way for St. Amant was Franklin with 17 points. Hebert wasn't far behind with 14 of his own. Troy Dunn chipped in with eight.

As for East Ascension, Carter led the way with 17. Grayson scored 13, and both Cameron Dunbar and Tre' Joseph scored 11 points.

The loss concluded the Spartans' regular season with an overall record of 19-14.

It was St. Amant's third straight victory. They end the regular season with a record of 21-10. They are set to play their first playoff game in the Gold Dome since 2009.

"I couldn't be more proud of the way we ended this year," Uzee said. "We're a young team. We had some bumps in the road, but we've earned a home playoff game. We're gonna enjoy this win for a little while, and then we'll focus on winning a playoff game next Friday."