EA rebounds to pull away from Griffins
East Ascension twice overcame runs from Dutchtown in the second half to pull away with a 66-51 District 6-5A victory Friday night at EAHS’ gym.
The Spartans had lost four of its first five games in district play and had a 27-game home winning streak snapped against East St. John Tuesday dating back to the 2007 Class 4A quarterfinals.
“Tonight, hopefully we started something again,” East Ascension head coach Kenny Almond said. “They made a run at us, but it seemed like everybody stepped up and made a play. We needed that.
“That is just the way it is in this district. Anybody can beat anybody any given night but it seems that the home teams are a little better than the visiting team. When it got down to four of five, I think this time our guys got over the hump. Some of the games in the past, we have gotten to that point and something bad would happen. They wanted to win this one and I think they really play hard and together.”
East Ascension (25-6, 2-4) and Dutchtown (16-11, 2-4) are now in a tie for fourth place in the district race.
“Neither team is going to give up,” Dutchtown head coach Patrick Hill said. “You know in a game like this there is going to be a push but the question is do you have enough energy to continue it. We had some buckets that didn’t fall. It wasn’t what they did. It was what we didn’t do. We got to that last little step and didn’t put it in the hole and we got to that last little step on defense and we didn’t defend them from getting the rebound.
“They are a good team. They are very simple but their simplicity leads to brilliance. Coach Almond has been at this a long time and he knows what it takes to win.”
Ferrell Strode led all scorers with 16 points for East Ascension, while Corey Lane added 15. Quinn Coco and Gary Weber each had 10 and Keith Fleming provided nine.
Dutchtown was led by Earl Warren with 15 points. Scott Burgess and Eddie Lacy each had 12 and Terrance Cushenberry provided eight.
Dutchtown cut it to 39-34 on John Williams’ put back in the third quarter but East Ascension answered with a 6-0 run capped by Coco’s pull up jumper with 2:17 left in the frame. Burgess’ 3-pointer from the left corner and Lacy’s lane drive cut it to 45-40 going into the fourth quarter.
Lacy’s drive opened the final frame before Strode answered with one of his own. Weber nailed consecutive pull up jumpers, Kenny Varnado finished in transition and Fleming was good from inside during an 10-0 run after Lacy’s putback cut it to 49-44.
Weber’s dish to Fleming inside and one and transition bucket put East Ascension ahead 64-45 before Warren scored six of the final eight points to close out the contest.
Cushenberry’s 3-pointer opened the third quarter before Coco’s baseline jumper and Warren’s drive off a steal.
East Ascension jumped out to an 18-9 lead going into the second quarter behind Lane’s seven first quarter points. The Spartans extended it to 35-23 at half-time behind six second quarter points from Strode.