Lady Spartans’ ball handling too much for Scotlandville

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension’s Alexis Ruth gets off a shot attempt in transition ahead of Scotlandville’s Haylea Rheams in the third quarter of the Lady?Spartans’ 45-40 victory Tuesday night at Scotlandville Magnet High School.

SCOTLANDVILLE – East Ascension built a double-digit second half lead and hit free throws down the stretch to turn back Scotlandville 45-40 Tuesday night at SMHS’s gym.

Scotlandville had cut the lead to four but the Lady Spartans executed four straight inbounds passes safely with no turnovers to make it to the free throw line in the bonus.

“We did OK,”?East Ascension head coach Dennis Chandler said. “We are a young team and we are struggling with a lot of things right now.

“I am not worried about our height. It is what it is. We are not going to grow in the next two or three days. We have kids that post up fundamentally sound and they did a good job on the blocks.”

East Ascension (5-6) had defeated Scotlandville 42-40 earlier in the season but had lost three straight coming into the game.

Alexis Ruth led the Lady Spartans with 17 points, while Symone Miller added 13. Kiona Lomas also had nine points.

Kenya Dixon led Scotlandville (9-7) with a game-high 20 points, while Dori Williams and Tiryn Gice each had five.

“Their kids never quit,” Scotlandville coach Brett Shaw said. “They run their offense well and you can tell they are a well coached. They attack and they are not scared to win. They got a couple of ball players that are not scared to take shots in the clutch and that is going to win you a lot of basketball games.

“(Ruth) set the tone of the game early and (Miller) is a warrior. They did what big time players do. They got to the lane, made decisions and got passes to the open people. We didn’t rotate good on defense with that and they took advantage of it.”

East Ascension jumped out to a 15-5 first quarter lead before the Lady Hornets cut it to 20-16 at halftime.

Ruth drove center of the lane to open the second half before Dixon’s putback and one. After Miller found Lomas open for a baseline jumper,  Lanae Bickham’s dish to Dixon inside cut it to 25-23.

Miller fed Lomas inside again before pulling up in transition from the free throw line. After Dixon’s free throws, Miller hit Maria Kinchen inside just before the buzzer to give the Lady Spartans a 31-25 lead.

“What they (Ruth and Miller) did tonight was real solid,” Chandler said. “They got theirs and they got some other kids involved but we left some points on the floor because we didn’t convert easy shots.”

Ruth’s putback started the fourth quarter before she fed Miller for a jumper at the free throw line to give East Ascension their biggest lead 35-25.

Scotlandville then used a 6-0 run to cut it to four courtesy Williams’ dish to Bickham for a 19-footer, Kayla Chaney’s putback and bucket from Rheams inside.

The game quickly picked up the pace in a two-minute span and the Lady Spartans took advantage of it to run the floor.

Miller started the spurt with a 3-pointer on the left wing from Brionca Bougere before Williams’ drive. Ruth answered with a drive in transition before Miller pulled up after Dixon’s drive.

Gice’s free throws cut it to 42-38 before the Lady Hornets were forced to foul four times to put East Ascension on the free throw line as precious seconds clicked off the clock.

Ruth nailed two free throws before Dixon’s putback with eight seconds remaining. One more free throw by Ruth reflected the final tally. 

East Ascension traveled to Plaquemine Thursday night before hosting L.W. Higgins Wednesday.

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East Ascension’s Jalen York battles Scotlandville’s Kenya Dixon for a rebound in the second half of the Lady?Spartans 45-40 victory Tuesday night.