TRI-DENT: East Ascension drops Donaldsonville for third straight Gold Dome Classic title

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension’s Keith Fleming converts a lay up in between Donaldsonville’s Todd Joseph and Jarrett Cole in the second quarter of the Spartan’s 72-63 victory in the championship game of the Gold Dome Classic Saturday night. Fleming’s subsequent free throw put EA ahead 26-22.

ST. AMANT - East Ascension jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter and held on for a 72-63 victory after Donaldsonville cut it to five to open the second half in the championship game of the Ralph Sellers Gold Dome Classic Saturday night.

The victory marked the Spartans’ third consecutive title in the tournament hosted by St. Amant during the first week of December and also saw teams from Ascension Parish play in the championship game for the second consecutive year. East Ascension defeated St.?Amant 67-61 last season and  Ouachita 59-42 two years ago.

“We have good players and we have played well in this tournament,” East Ascension head coach Kenny Almond said. “I don’t know why. Maybe it is just the time of year and when things are coming together, I hope.

“We weren’t focused when we came out in the second half  but it had a lot to do with Donaldsonville. They picked up the pace and got after us.”

Keith Fleming nailed a 90-foot heave after gathering a defensive rebound as the buzzer sounded to put the Spartans ahead 36-25 at halftime.

Fleming led East Ascension (8-2) with 24 points, while Tyler Wright provided 15, Donald LeBlanc added 12 and DeAndre Smith had 10.

“Keith has enough size and he takes up a lot of space,” Almond said. “He is physical and he is going to get rebounds but he has been doing some little things for us that we need him to do. He is playing well but without the outside game it doesn’t work. You have to have both.”

Lorenzo Collins led Donaldsonville (6-3) with 21 points, while Jarrett Cole added 17 and Devon?Breaux provided 11 but the Tigers were without point guard Kelvon Davis most of the game.

“We just were out of sync,” Donaldsonville head coach Greg Hill said. “Their defense had a lot to do with that.  We bounce back and forth but with (Davis) gettting hurt, we had to put some other kids in the game that really haven’t played. We just need practice.

“We don’t have any big people like (Fleming). We have quick people but it is hard to come down every trip and do a good job. A couple of times we had some steals but I am happy.”

LeBlanc’s drive and one after Curtis Watts’ dish to Wright for a 3-pointer on the right wing put East Ascension ahead 11-3 in the first quarter before Davis’ 3-pointer from the left wing and dish to Quinton Bernard in transition.

Fleming’s inside bucket and one made it 21-11 going into the second quarter following Collins’ 3-point play after Fleming’s baseline spin, Bobby Madere’s dish to Wright for a 3-pointer at the top of the key and LeBlanc’s lay up off a steal.

Cole’s drive across the lane opened the second quarter before Watts’ jumper.?Cortez Mitchell’s free throws cut it o 23-22 with four minutes left in the half after Breaux’s 19-footer and spin in transition but Fleming following with an and one before LeBlanc fed Smith for a 3-pointer in the right corner.

Breaux’s baseline jumper cut it to 36-31 to open the second half before Fleming answered with a spin inside to kick start a 13-0 run that featured Watts’ pull up jumper and LeBlanc’s drives and dish to Fleming for another and one.

Cole’s pull up jumper in transition cut it to 51-39 after he spun inside and drove.

Watts’ lay up off a steal put East Ascension ahead 55-41 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter before four putbacks by Collins cut it to 58-50 but the Spartans would push the lead back to 14 courtesy free throws.  

Cole’s putback reflected the final tally after Breaux fed him off as steal and nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing in transition.

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East Ascension’s Curtis Watts converts a lay up off a steal ahead of Donaldsonville’s Brennen Lewis in the third quarter of the Spartans’ 72-63 championship game victory at the Gold Dome Classic Saturday night.