Gators fall short in tournament

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
St. Amant's Kameron Kelson shoots free throws in the Gators' 65-59 loss to Dunham.
Photo by Kyle Riviere.

The St. Amant Gators played well in the 44th Episcopal Classic--opening with two victories, but on the final day, they fell victim to the precise 3-point shooting of a young and talented Dunham squad, 65-59.

Three Tigers scored at least 15 points. The biggest thorn in the Gators' side was Tre Scott. In his 21-point onslaught, he rained down four treys on the St. Amant defense.

"That No. 23 (Scott), we knew he could shoot the ball, but he kept knocking them down left and right," Gator head coach Travis Uzee said. "We battled. I'm proud of my team. Two of our guys were hurt, so our depth was in question, and I think we did an ok job. We just have to execute a little better there."

St. Amant came into the tournament looking for some success after dropping four of their previous five games. That included three straight losses. One of the defeats came at the final buzzer against Donaldsonville.

The Gators quickly righted the ship as they cruised to victories over Springfield and Live Oak by a combined margin of 31 points.

Dunham refused to suffer the same fate. They opened their matchup against St. Amant with two quick 3-pointers to take an 8-6 lead.

After the two teams went back and forth in an exciting first period, Kameron Kelson completed a 3-point play down low to cut the Tigers' advantage to 15-14 heading into the second.

Dunham went on a quick 5-0 run to extend their lead, but St. Amant fought right back. Two free throws from Jimmie Pittman tied the game.

The Tigers eventually led, 28-26, at the half.

Both teams came out sloppy in the third quarter. After the Tigers committed their fair share of turnovers, Scott began to take over. He hit three 3-pointers to jump Dunham's lead to 11.

The Gators had their chances to bridge the gap. They had plenty of open looks; they just couldn't get them to go.

Finally, they went on a 6-0 run to end the quarter. It was highlighted by a Kelson layup at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 39-34 heading into the fourth.

St. Amant continued to apply pressure in the final period as Pittman drilled a 3-pointer that cut the Dunham lead to 3. He then made an acrobatic layup in traffic to get the Gators within 1.

However, that's as close as they would come. On the other end, Jordan Wright completed an and-one play to push the lead to 4. Eventually, the advantage jumped back to 8 with another 3-pointer by Scott.

Carter Templet nailed two treys of his own to keep the Gators within striking distance, but it wasn't enough. Dunham took the game, 65-59.

Scott led all scorers with 21 points. Wright was close behind with 18, and Tyveon Spurlock chipped in with 15.

St. Amant saw plenty of balance in their offense as well. Templet led the way with 18, and Jahnoi Daley added 11. Pittman and Terique Daley each had 8, and Kelson had 7.

Overall, the Gators finished the tournament winning two of three games.

"I thought we played really well in the first two games. We're going in the right direction," Uzee said. "I felt good about coming into this game; I thought we had a chance to really get after them. We just came up a little short, but I'm really pleased with where we're going right now."

The results of the tournament improved St. Amant to 11-8 overall.

The Gators have three more non-district games scheduled. They'll travel to South Lafourche on Friday and then host Vandebilt Catholic on Jan. 12.