SURPRISE SURPRISE: Spartans rally by St. Amant in overtime for first district victory

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant’s Shane Laurent gathers a rebound over East Ascension’s Kadarius Williams in the closing seconds of the Spartans’ 73-65 District 6-5A overtime victory Tuesday night.

East Ascension converted a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation to force overtime and prevailed in the extra frame for a 73-65 District 6-5A victory over St. Amant Tuesday night at EAHS’ gym.

Sophomore DeAundre Smith nailed the 3-pointer off a penetrating dish from freshmen Javaughn Williams to send the game into overtime. Shane Laurent’s heave off the backboard fell to the floor as time expired.

The victory marked the Spartans’ first in district play as both East Ascension and St. Amant were winless heading into the contest.

“We certainly have to win more than one,” East Ascension head coach Kenny Almond said. “We have played some good teams so we have a chance at the playoffs. We just want to take it one game at a time right now. We have to get better as a team. We are better than what we are playing like.

“We are proud of our team because it didn’t look good with about two minutes left. I thought it was great play by a freshmen to bring the ball up the floor and we executed exactly what we wanted to get the 3-point shot. We didn’t play great but we played hard and didn’t give up. We have to guard better. You can’t just leave guys open. I didn’t think we played with enough intensity in the first half.”

Smith led East Ascension (16-9, 1-2) with 22 points including five 3-pointers. Tyler Wright added 19 including four 3-pointers, while Curtis Watts provided 10, Keith Fleming had nine and Kadarius Williams and Javaughn Williams each had six.

Justin Manton led St. Amant (4-19, 0-3) with a game-high 25 points including five 3-pointers. Steve Fulkerson added 13, while Marlon Bourgeois provided nine, Laurent had six, Mileke Beasley chipped in five, Blair LeBourgeois had four and Jacky Joseph three.

“If we do what we were supposed to, it wouldn’t have gone into overtime but we didn’t execute and that is my fault,” St. Amant head coach Gary Duhe said. “We were beat when we went into overtime because my guys knew that they made a mistake.

“You have to finish the game. We controlled the game but we have to play for 32 minutes. We were supposed to be guarding the guy. We were not supposed to be helping in the lane. They could have a shot at two but they were not supposed to shoot a 3-pointer. We can’t handle situations down the stretch and I have to do a better coaching job.”

Javaughn Williams fed Kadarius Williams for an and one in transition to open the extra period before Smith’s dish to Watts for a 3-pointer near the top of the key put East Ascension ahead 65-59. Beasley fed Manton for a 3-pointer on the left wing in transition before Javaughn Williams drove lane.

Wright fed a cutting Kadarius Williams inside after Bourgeois’ free throws to put the Spartans ahead by five points with under a minute to play. Wright converted three free throws down the stretch.

Manton pulled up from the free throw line to open the contest before Bobby Madere fed Smith for a 3-pointer on the left wing and Fleming found Wright for another on the right wing. Manton answered from Fulkerson before Wright connected again to put East Ascension ahead 9-5.

St.?Amant went ahead 12-9 on Manton’s 3-pointer from the left corner after Joseph’s drive and Fulkerson’s turnaround jumper. Manton’s penetrating dish to Fulkerson inside preceded Watts’ pull up jumper from the free throw line and Fulkerson’s baseline drive. Bourgeois’ dish to Fulkerson put St. Amant ahead 18-14 going into the second quarter after Smith fed Wright for a 3-pointer at the top of the key.

Smith’s 3-pointer from the left wing opened the second frame before Manton fed Fulkerson inside for an and one. Manton’s pull up 3-pointer from the right wing in transition put the Gators ahead 30-21 after Beasley fed Laurent for a 3-pointer in transition.

Smith pulled up for a 3-pointer in transition just before the buzzer to cut it to 32-28 at halftime after Kadarius Williams fed him for another 3-pointer off an inbounds pass and Manton drove lane.

Fulkerson’s baseline drive opened the third quarter before he fed Manton inside to put St. Amant ahead 38-30. Smith’s free throws cut it to 41-36 after Fleming converted off an inbounds pass from Kadarius Williams and Manton pulled up for a 3-pointer on the left wing.

Wright’s 3-pointer from the right corner opened the fourth quarter and his subsequent free throws as Joseph fouled out knotted it up 41-41. Laurent fed Bourgeois inside to put St. Amant back ahead but Fulkerson fouled out shortly after with 5:36 left to play.

Fleming’s free throws put East Ascension ahead after Wright fed him inside. However, after Bourgeois’ pump fake, Beasley drew Fleming’s fifth foul with 3:18 left to play.

St. Amant went ahead 51-45 on a series of free throws before Smith drove lane and Watts converted off a backcourt steal. After LeBourgeois’ putback, Laurent drove lane in transition to put the Gators up by six again.

Watts’ 3-pointer from the right wing in transition and Javaughn Williams’ drive with 45 seconds remaining preceded Beasley’s penetrating dish to LeBourgeois.

Manton’s free throws with 12.4 seconds remaining put St. Amant ahead 59-56 after Javaughn Williams drove lane in transition.

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East Ascension’s DeAundre Smith converts in between St.?Amant’s Mileke Beasley and Blair LeBourgeois in the fourth quarter of the Spartans’ 73-65 District 6-5A victory Tuesday night.