Ascension Christian burned by Flames

Peter Silas Pasqua
Ascension Christian’s Troy Davis converts a lay up off a steal ahead of Family Christian’s Seth Dickery in the first half Friday night. Davis had a team-high 10 points for the Lions.

Family Christian closed out the second half on an 11-3 run before holding Ascension Christian scoreless in the third quarter on way to a 76-26 District 9-C victory Friday night at AC’s gym.

“They were a lot quicker,” Ascension Christian head coach Will Stone said. “They are perennially a state title contender and I like having them in our district because it is a good measuring stick. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. For our young, first year program, I am glad we play teams like this because it gives us something to shoot for.

“We made some careless turnovers in the first half and didn’t convert. Youthful mistakes. That is one thing a lot of people don’t realize about us. We are all freshmen with the exception of two and they are playing against varsity competition. They don’t back down so I am proud of them but we are making some youthful mistakes just from inexperience. I thought we shied away from contact instead of taking it to their size. I wanted to take it to them and get them in early foul trouble which we did not do. We made some youthful mistakes with the press and we kept trying to go to the sidelines instead of the feeding the middle.”

Ascension Christian, a first-year high school, is competing in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association for basketball with a brand new program. Other district opponents include Louisiana School for the Death, Gables Academy and Jehovah-Jireh.

“I have had a very supportive administration so that has been a blessing,” Stone said. “I have guys that want to do the right thing. My biggest challenge is the majority played junior high basketball last year and we have to get rid of a lot of those tendencies. You can’t throw a soft pass and expect it to make it to your teammate. You can’t take a jump shot in the lane because it is going to wind up in the concession stand. Adjusting to the speed of the game – as the season goes on they are making that adjustment. The first phase in building a program is setting the attitude of hard work. You are going to take your lumps but it is all going somewhere.”

Ascension Christian (2-14, 1-1) was led by Troy Davis with 10 points. Jacob Puryear added five, while Aaron Lanclos provided four.

Family Christian (14-7, 2-0) was led by Charleston Morrise with 17 points. Phillip George added 15, while Joseph Larson provided 11 and Merwyn Landry contributed 10.

“We had to put more pressure on the basketball and that was the plan,” Family Christian head coach James Holmes said. “We came out lackadaisical. We played with more intensity in the second half.”

Family Christian opened the contest on a 14-0 run kickstarted by two putbacks from Larson before transition buckets from Morrise.  Puryear’s putback put Ascension Christian on the board with 1:20 left to play before Davis’ lay up in transition. Landry’s 3-pointer from the top of the key made it 17-4 going into the second quarter.

Davis’ lay up off a steal after George’s jumper cut it to 20-6 before a double technical. Lanclos’ pull up jumper and Joshua Nelson’s putback sandwiched Morrise’s lane drive before Larson’s turnaround jumper. Davis drove lane to cut it to 27-13 before Family Christian’s run to close out the half which concluded with Morrise’s dish to George inside to make it 35-14 at half-time.

Family Christian held Ascension Christian scoreless in the third quarter outscoring the Lions 24-0. Kevin Haynes’ 3-pointer from the right corner opened the stanza. Morrise’s lay up off a steal and dish to Larson inside preceded Haynes’  put back and Landry’s 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Flames a 59-14 lead going into the final stanza.

Landry’s 3-pointer from the left wing opened the final frame before Lanclos’ put back. Davis and Puryear each drove lane to cut to 73-22 before Davis’ putback. Puryear’s free throw reflected the final tally.