A last-second basket brought Brusly players and fans into a roaring frenzy usually reserved for a district championship.
It wasn’t. Instead, it was a 46-45 win over Port Allen in the Brusly Invitational.
The Panthers (5-2) finished second in the tournament after a 54-34 win in the championship game. Port Allen finished third after a 73-67 victory over Southern Lab.
Brusly’s win over Port Allen (5-1) earned the Panthers a spot in the championship round.
Against the Pelicans, Dimario Jackson bucketed a pair of free throws to lift the Panthers to victory. Jackson scored the winning shots after Port Allen’s Nick Parker gave Port Allen a one-point lead with 12 seconds remaining.
The win over Port Allen gave the packed house a prelude of what could lie ahead when 7-3A action kicks off in January.
“It certainly felt like we won the district title, and it had me reminiscing to last year,” said Brusly coach Harold Boudreaux, who led the Panthers to the 7-3A title last season. “It’s always going to be a tough game with them. Whenever we play each other, it’s always going to be a good game.”
Jackson powered the Panthers with 26 points, including a pair of three-point buckets in the first half. He also finished 4-for-4 on free throws.
Brusly took a 12-4 lead over the Pelicans in the first quarter, but Port Allen grinded out 14 points in the second stanza. The Pelican output in the second quarter included a trio of three-point buckets by senior Jarius Turner.
Both teams eased the tempo in the third quarter, which finished with a 34-24 Brusly lead.
The Pelicans erupted for 21 points in the final quarter, including eight points by Parker, along with a layup and three-point goal by Turner.
Turner and Parker led PAHS with 16 points apiece.
The slow start hampered the Pelicans, but head coach Brandon Ricard expected a tough game against Brusly.
“This is what it’s going to be like,” he said. “We had a bad first half, but the kids played hard, fought and came back. After the slow first half, we lost by one. We had a good game.
“This is what you expect when Port Allen plays Brusly,” Ricard said.
The Pelicans visit Baker on Dec. 11 and travel to West Feliciana Dec. 18.
Brusly competes in the Robert Grace Classic at East Iberville High School Thursday through Saturday, and entertains St. Michaels on Monday.