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Port Allen knocks off fifth-ranked Wildcats


ST. JAMES — The visiting Port Allen Pelicans boys basketball team entered Friday's District 7-3A showdown with St. James with only one thing in its mind — revenge.

Looking to pay the Wildcats back for an earlier 51-50 loss at home, Port Allen clamped down on defense and held St. James star player, Jared Wiggins, to five points, en route to taking a 52-45 win over the No. 5-ranked team in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association's Class 3A poll.

"Our guys took it as a personal challenge to stop him," Pelicans coach Brandon Ricard said of Wiggins. "He scored 19 at our place and sort of embarrassed us so the guys wanted to make sure that didn't happen again."

When the fourth period began, St. James (17-4 overall, 4-1 in district) held a 37-30 advantage. After Port Allen's Nick Parker hit a basket to make it 37-32, St. James' Wiggins responded with a pair of free throws to put the Wildcats up by seven once again with 7:20 remaining.

However, St. James could muster only six more points down the stretch as they watched Port Allen outscore them 20-6 in the final seven minutes of regulation.

St. James coach James Smith said his team never could find the necessary spurt to get past Port Allen (13-7, 4-2 in district).

"They played a 2-3 against us and there game plan was to stop Jared, which they did," Smith said. "This opened up some things for us on the perimeter, but we just weren't knocking down the shots. You have to tip your hat to them."

Both teams got off to a slow start with neither squad assuming an advantage. A combination of turnovers, missed shots and squandered opportunities led to a low-scoring half in which St. James overcame a 4-point deficit on its way to claiming a 24-23 lead at the break.

Leading all scorers was Nick Parker, who finished with 21 points for Port Allen. Jarius Turner and Ishael Lane also notched double figures with 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Andre Mitchell paced St. James with 10 points.

ST. JAMES 58, PORT ALLEN 53 (Girls)

At St. James, Nytiana Joseph was a one-woman show for St. James as she finished with 39 of her teams 58 points Friday night.

The Lady Wildcats grabbed a 19-16 lead at the break on their way to notching a 58-53 win over a Port Allen team that refused to go away easily.

Port Allen actually drew within 3 points on two occasions late in the game only to watch St. James hit some key free throws to secure the 5-point victory.

Leading the way for Port Allen was Rhecie Lee with 19 points.

With the win, St. James improved to 6-17 overall and 3-1 in District 7-A play, while Port Allen dropped to 10-13 and 2-3.

BRUSLY 44, E.D. WHITE CATHOLIC 31 (BOYS)

At Brusly, the Cardinals got off to a slow start, trailing 9-0 at the end of the first quarter in Friday's District 7-3A game.

Brusly led 19-11 at halftime and 28-19 after three quarters.

Stephen LeBouef led E.D. White (6-15, 1-5 in district) with eight points. Brusly's Micah Spears had a game-high 17 points.

E.D. WHITE CATHOLIC 52, BRUSLY 33 (GIRLS)

At Brusly, Jordan Gros scored 17 points and Genna Larose added 11 points to help the Lady Cardinals extend their winning streak to 13 games on Friday night.

E.D. White (19-5, 6-0 in 7-3A) led 16-12 after the first quarter, 30-18 at halftime and 39-28 after the third quarter.

The Lady Cardinals are ranked fifth in the latest LSWA Class 3A girls poll.