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Lions pull away for win


GRAY — When the Covenant Christian Academy Lions went into the locker room with a 30-27 lead at halftime Friday night, Lions coach Leon Veal knew momentum would play a big part in the second half.

And that it did.

After his team closed out the first half on an 8-0 run, the Lions bolted on a 9-0 run to open the second half, which included out-scoring Grand Isle 17-3 in the first three minutes of the third quarter to cruise to the 65-42 victory in non-district basketball action.

"Once you are able to get that momentum, everything becomes easier, your shots fall and you find yourself playing better," Veal said. "It builds confidence and it led to a big win for us."

In those opening minutes of the second half, Datren Williams (20 points) caught fire, scoring 13 points as the Lions jumped out to a commanding 48-28 lead.

From that point on the Lions did not look back, building a 52-35 lead heading into the final quarter. The Lions continued their dominance in the fourth, out-scoring the Trojans 13-7 to close out the game.

Following the game, Veal said he was pleased with the way his team took control in the third quarter, forcing the necessary turnovers, and hitting the shots they needed to.

"We came out flat in the first half but everything was falling for us in the third quarter," he said. "We had a couple of big threes, we hit our lay-ups; it was just a real good quarter for us. It really made the difference."

Covenant Christian (2-0) opened the game on a 7-2 run to take the early lead. They also closed the quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 15-11 lead into the second quarter behind six first quarter points from Brenin Stephenson.

However, the Trojans found a hot streak of their own in the second quarter as nine points from Alphonse Cassagne (13 points) gave Grand Isle its first lead of the game, 22-20 with three minutes to play in the quarter.

Grand Isle jumped out to a 27-22 lead with just over two minutes left following a Casagne free throw before the Lions used the 8-0 run to re-capture the momentum and take the three-point lead at halftime.

Mark George (11 points) and Brandon Woods (12 points) also led the Lions in scoring.

Cassagne finished as the leading scorer for the Trojans.

With two games now under their belt, Veal is confident the Lions will continue to make strides as they embark on the task of competing in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.

"We've prepared for this for some time, this is something we wanted for a long time," Veal said. "So far the transition has gone great. We just have to take it one game at a time and we'll continue to work hard to stay competitive."

GRAND ISLE 31, COVENANT CHRISTIAN 26 (GIRLS)

In what coach David Cantrelle tabbed as his team's "best shooting performance of the season" for the Grand Isle Lady Trojans were carried by Ali Bradberry with 13 points to secure the six-point win.

The Lady Trojans (1-4) jumped out to an n 18-12 halftime lead to keep Covenant Christian on their heels. The Lady Lions were unable to recover from a 4-for-15 night from the free throw line.

"We have to learn how to take our time and out it in, it really hurt us tonight," Lady Lions coach said Lexie Taylor said. "We missed some tough lay-ups on top of that and that didn't help."

Iesha Waller led the Lady Lions (2-2) with five points.