Morgan City survives Ellender in overtime


Just when it looked like the Morgan City Tigers were going to cruise to an easy District 8-4A victory over Ellender, the Patriots said not so fast.

A massive fourth-quarter Ellender run that was capped by a 3-pointer from Justin Johnson sent the game to overtime, but Morgan City would prevail and exhale after the 62-59 overtime victory on Friday night in Houma.

The Tigers (10-8, 1-0 in district) led by as much as 14 points twice in the fourth quarter, the final time at 51-39, before the 16-4 run sent the game to overtime tied at 55 after Johnson's 3-pointer.

Morgan City had a chance to win it at end of regulation, but Eric Walker's floater in the lane was too strong and a tip-in attempt by Tyrin Watts bounced up on the rim twice and quieted everyone in attendance before falling to the floor.

All though Ellender (10-9, 1-1 in district) scored first in overtime and later led 59-57, the Tigers closed the extra period with a layup and then a free throw and Ellender failed to score on its final three possessions.

Johnson again attempted to send the game to another overtime but his 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer was just strong.

"We have been working on situations, but we have not worked on a situation when we were up double digits in the fourth quarter and the game goes to overtime. I guess we have to work on that one," Morgan City coach Jeremy Whittington said. "Our kids made a decision before we started this district that we were going to go on the road and play hard."

Leading the Tigers in scoring were Jaylen Jones (16 points), Malcolm Watkins (16 points), Aquinndus Humphrey (14 points) and Watts (nine points).

"We had guys step up. They found each other. They wanted it," Whittington said. "When the game went to overtime, our guys said ‘We got this.' This is what we needed to start district."

Ellender got 18 points from Cameron Parfait, 12 points from Jasi Barabin and eight points each from Jarred Turner, Eric Welch and Justin Johnson.

The Tigers led 10-8 after the first quarter and 19-17 in overtime.

"We played horrible in that first half, a couple bad passes here and there, and a couple miscues on offense. We couldn't get anything to fall for us," Ellender coach Cornell Scott said. "They did a good job of disrupting what we wanted to do. I was still proud of the way we came back. We would have liked to get that W, but we are still 1-1 in district, and we have a long way to go."

Morgan City also led 35-28 after the third quarter and its lead ballooned to 14 twice after the Tigers got easy baskets by breaking Ellender's half-court trap.

The Patriots later went to their full-court press which helped spark the 16-4 run and send the game to overtime. Parfait scored seven of Ellender's points in that span and an offensive foul before the inbounds play away from the ball with 18.6 seconds left is that gave the Patriots the ball back before Johnson made the 3-pointer that sent it to overtime.

"We made a couple of mistakes and turnovers in that stretch that let them back in it," Whittington said. "You have to be as sharp as we can be in breaking that press break. If we would have done it like we were doing it earlier in the game, it would have been a bigger separation."

ELLENDER 81, MORGAN CITY 27 (GIRLS)

At Houma before the boys game, the Lady Patriots got 20 points from Shakira Bingham and improved to 12-4 overall and 2-0 in District 8-4A.

Ellender led 24-10 after the first quarter, 49-22 at halftime and 67-27 at the end of the third quarter.

Kiara Scott added 13 points for the Lady Patriots, and Taima Danos, Sage Scott and Amari Banks each had nine points.

Casey Chenevert led Morgan City (6-13, 0-1 in district) with 14 points.

SOUTH TERREBONNE 59, ASSUMPTION 26 (BOYS)

At Bourg, Patrick Wilson scored 22 points to lead the Gators to a District 8-4A win on Friday.

Tyrone Smith added 15 points for South Terrebonne (4-12, 1-1 in district). Assumption fell to 2-16 overall, 0-2 in district.

ASSUMPTION 57, SOUTH TERREBONNE 45 (GIRLS)

At Bourg, the Lady Mustangs overcome a three-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Lady Gators 39-24 in the second half. South Terrebonne (3-9, 0-2 in district) led 9-8 after the first quarter and 21-18 halftime, but Assumption (11-8, 1-1 in district) led 36-31 after three quarters.

Amanda Gianelloni led the Lady Mustangs with a game-high 19 points. Monet Cox and Blare Pellegrin each scored 10 points for the Lady Gators.