Port Alllen and Brusly high school hoop squads head into the Christmas break on the threshhold of a busy schedule that will lead both squads into the 2013 District 7-3A race.
Both teams will compete in the Madison Prep Classic after Christmas. District season tips off for both teams Jan. 8.
Port Allen basketball coach Brandon Ricard hopes Baker gave his Pelicans a wakeup call.
Baker took advantage of a slow start in the first half to defeat the Pelicans 67-52 in non-district action last week.
Port Allen slipped to 5-2 with the loss. The defeat came on the threshold of a busy holiday schedule that will lead to the start of District 7-3A action Jan. 8 against St. James.
“We could have another season in which we only have a single-digit loss total,” Ricard said. “Our schedule prepares us for a tough district run and tough playoffs. It’s up to the guys to decide which direction they take.”
Baker took the lead over the Pelicans in the first quarter and never looked back.
The Buffaloes – district foes for Port Allen starting next year -- rolled to a 20-14 lead over the Pelicans in the first quarter, and led 27-21 at halftime.
“Baker is a really scrappy bunch, but our team didn’t play its best,” Ricard said. “Our guys fought hard and tried to make the comeback, but they started too late.”
Baker bounced back with 22 points in the third quarter, but held Port Allen to 11.
The Pels outscored the Buffs 20-18 in the final stanza.
Jarius Turner led Port Allen with 11 points, while Nick Parker had 10. Adron Franklin had eight. Melvin Allen and Marcus Keyes each netted six.
Nick Parker had two shots from three-point range.
Demetrius Fitzpatrick had the game-high 17 for Baker, while teammate Rahmil Almond bucketed 15.
Fitzpatrick hit three 3-pointers.
Port Allen will see plenty of Baker over the next couple of years. The Buffaloes will compete in the same district starting next year.
West Feliciana, another team that will compete in the new district, hosted the Pels on Tuesday after press time.
PAHS visits Family Christian at 7 p.m. Friday.
“Baker was a tough team, and West Feliciana is better than Baker,” Ricard said. “As for Family Christian, that’s one of the best Class C schools in the state.”
Ricard believes the Pelicans will come together as business starts to pick up.
“The kids are starting to jell as a team,” he said. “They have to fit back into their roles.”
Port Allen returns from its Christmas break Dec. 27 when the Pels battle in the Madison Prep Tournament on the campus of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries in Baton Rouge.
PAHS faces Lafayette 4A powerhouse Northside in the opening round, while Brusly tangles with Beau Chene.
If both local teams win or both local teams lose, they will meet in the second round.
The Pels kick off 2013 with a visit to defending Class 1A state champion Christian Life.
BRUSLY -- Thje Panthers fell 54-49 to Madison Prep after a five-day hiatus.
BHS fell to 10-3, while Madison Prep improved to 20-1.
Brusly played a tight first half that ended in a 12-12 tie at the end of the first qurater and a 19-19 lockup at halftime.
A 14-point rally in the third quarter helped beat the Panthers.
Both teams scored 21 points in the fourth quarter.
Micah Spears led the Panthers, while Traveon Thibodeaux netted 12.
Jarell Martin had the game-high 23 points for BHS. He posted six three-pointers.
“The ball just didn’t bounce our way,” Panther coach Harold Boudreaux said. “Sometimes that happens, but I saw a lot of positive stuff. I think we’re about to make a big run acorss the stretch.
“We have to keep working hard. You can see it in the attitude that ‘here we come’.”
The Panthers were set to face 2012 6-1A champion Pointe Coupee Central Tuesday after presstime.
BHS entertains West Feliciana on Thursday.
“They won the last six games, and even though we played well against them earlier in the season, we played well. But everyone’s getting better. We have to be ready.”
Brusly plays Beau Chene in the Madison Prep Tournament Thursday at Jimmy Swaggart Ministries.
The Panthers kick off 2013 against future district rival Baker Jan. 2.
Brusly visits East Iberville on Jan 4 and opens District 7-3A action Jan. 8 at E.D. White.