NEEDED WIN: St. Amant drops Spartans late for first district win
ST.?AMANT – St. Amant’s Jacob Gauthier converted a putback with nine seconds remaining to lift the Gators to a 55-54 District 6-5A victory over East Ascension Friday night at the Gold Dome.
It marked St. Amant’s first district victory of the season, who now stand tied with East Ascension in standings with both’s only wins coming against each other.
“We played hard,” St. Amant head coach Gary Duhe said. “It was a typical EA-St. Amant game. We needed it and they needed it. It is a good clean rivalry on both sides. Hard work pays off and good things happen to good people and these guys finally had a little good fortune tonight. They earned it by playing good defense and getting it to the right people. It was very well deserved.
“I fell good for our seniors. This year hasn’t been going like we are accustomed to here and it is fitting for them because we never quit. (EA) didn’t shoot the ball like they did the last time we played them and we had a few bad possessions. I felt the difference in the game was when we got in foul trouble early, guys did a good job to keep us in the game so we were able to play in the second half.”
Steven Fulkerson led St. Amant (5-23, 1-7) with a game-high 19 points, while Mileke Beasley added 12, Gauthier provided 11, Marlon Bourgeois had five, Shane Laurent chipped four and Justin Manton had three.
East Ascension (16-14, 1-7) was led by Keith Fleming with 13 points, while Curtis Watts added 12, DeAundre Smith provided 10, Devonte Fisher had nine, Javaughn Williams scored seven, Jamal Steward chipped in two and Kadarius Williams had one.
“It was a really good game,” East Ascension head coach Kenny Almond said. “We got outcoached. We had a bunch of young players make some mistakes and they should be better prepared to meet that situation. They are doing the best they can to try and get us a win and it just didn’t happen tonight.”
Steward’s drive gave East Ascension the lead with 22 seconds remaining after Fulkerson’s free throws put the Gators ahead. Fisher’s 3-pointer from the top of the key put the Spartans ahead 48-47 before his dish to Fleming inside and free throws built a five-point lead.
Beasley’s inside bucket from Manton and Gauthier’s putback cut it to one before Beasley drew Fleming’s fifth foul on a charge with 1:27 left.
St. Amant led 42-41 going into the final frame courtesy Fulkerson’s 3-pointer near the top of the key. Bourgeois’ drive in transition preceded Fleming’s dish to Smith inside and Fisher’s putback in the fourth quarter before Fulkerson’s spin.
Fulkerson’s putback and one opened the second half after the teams went to the locker room knotted up 30-30. Watts’ drive off a steal and 3-pointer from the left wing put East Ascension ahead before Fulkerson’s putback and Fleming’s hook. Javaughn Williams’ consecutive drives in transition preceded Gauthier’s baseline jumper.
Beasley’s drive opened the contest before Fulkerson’s 3-pointer near the top of the key and Gauthier’s inside bucket gave St.?Amant a 7-0 lead. Fleming’s and one inside put East Ascension on the board before Beasley’s 3-pointer.
Fleming’s inside bucket cut it to 14-10 going into the second quarter after he fed Watts inside and Manton drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Williams’ and one opened the second quarter before Jacky Joseph fed Beasley for a 3-pointer at the top of the key.
Smith answered Laurent’s 3-pointer from the left wing after Williams fed Watts inside to cut it to 25-24 before Bourgeois’ putback. Fisher’s putback knotted it up at halftime after Smith’s 3-pointer from the top of the key and Bourgeois’ putback and one.