West Jefferson too much for Spartans

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension’s Kadarius Williams and Keith Fleming reach for a rebound against West Jefferson’s Dwayne Wilson and Kadeem Allen in the first half of the Buccaneers’ 62-41 victory Saturday night at the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic.

West Jefferson closed out the first half on an 11-3 run and never looked back on way to a 62-41 victory in the opening round finale` at the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic Saturday night at EAHS’ gym.

Neither team was able to score in the first four and a half minutes but West Jefferson’s first two field goals were 3-pointers that quickly erased East Ascension’s only lead.

“They are real athletic and we didn’t play well,” East Ascension head coach Kenny Almond said. “We have to play hard to have a chance to win. I didn’t see this coming. They got after us and we didn’t respond. If we don’t fix something we are going to see a lot more of these.”

East Ascension (11-5) fell to the loser’s bracket and an elimination game against Lutcher Monday while West Jefferson (8-7) played Denham Springs in the winner’s bracket.

“We had a little bit more size on them and I think that was the difference,” West Jefferson head coach Rusty Jones said. “Once we got going, we got the lead and hung in there. We are slowly playing better but we still have a lot of mistakes to correct.”

Kadeem Allen led West Jefferson with a game-high 20 points, while Bryan Hampton added 10.

East Ascension was led by Keith Fleming with nine points.

Fleming’s free throws cracked the scoreboard with 3:34 left to play in the first quarter before his putback but Erik Hannemen connected on a 3-pointer from near the top of the key and Allen added one from the right corner to put West Jefferson up for good.

After Dwayne Wilson fed Allen in transition DeAndre Smith fed Tyler Wright for a baseline jumper off an inbounds pass to cut it to 8-5 going into the second quarter.

Wright’s 19-footer from the left corner opened the second quarter before Auburn County’s putback and Chris Grody’s pull up in the lane. Curtis Watts’ baseline jumper cut it to 12-10 before Grody’s 3-pointer but West Jefferson closed out the half on a 6-0 run after Fleming’s spin inside and one to take a 23-13 halftime lead on Allen’s putback just before the buzzer.

Jamal Green’s lay up off a steal made it 30-16 in the third frame after Wilson’s 3-pointer near the top of the key and Allen’s lay up off a steal sandwiched Kadarius Williams’ dish to Watts inside off an inbounds pass.

Fleming’s dish to Watts for a 3-pointer at the top of the key preceded a 7-0 Buccaneer run capped by Allen’s putback. Grody’s layup off a steal made it 41-24 going into the final frame after Devonte Fisher’s 3-pointer from the left corner and Fleming’s free throws sandwiched Jauren Brown’s tip.

Fleming fed a cutting Smith to open the final frame and Donald LeBlanc converted a lay up off a steal as the Spartans cut it to 41-30 but West Jefferson went on 15-0 run to put the game away highlighted by consecutive dunks from County and Hannemen.

LeBlanc drove lane to end the run and Fisher and?Smith each nailed 3-pointers from the left corner but Bryan Hampton’s dunk at the buzzer reflected the final tally.

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East Ascension’s Donald LeBlanc gathers a rebound over West Jefferson’s Jamal Green in the first half of the Buccaneers’ 62-41 victory in the Spartan Classic Saturday night.