Port Allen split a back-to-back set of non-district outings during the weekend to prime itself for District 7-3A action, which begins this week.
The Pelicans fell 72-66 Friday against defending Class 1A champion Christian Life, but had little trouble putting away Hosanna Christian in a 67-29 rout at home Saturday.
Port Allen (9-5) was set to open 7-3A action after press time Tuesday against St. James, which entered the district fray 13-3.
In action at Chrsitian Life, a slow start and foul trouble marred the Pelicans. PAHS trailed 14- 4 after the first quarter, but got the wheels turning in the second quarter after a 19-point rally.
A Jarius Turner three-pointer and layup cut the PAHS defict to 14-12 with seven minutes left in the half. But CLA responded with a pair of free throws and a layup, while Nic Parker hit a three-pointer that left the Pels with a 20-15 deficit.
CLA freshman Jordan Plalin’s three-pointer and three free throws gave the Crusaders a 13-point lead with under two minutes left in the half.
Malik Harrison, who led CLA with 23 points, shot four free thwos and added two more buckets to help power the Crusaders in the second.
Both teams maintained their intensity in the third quarter, but Harrison’s free throws in the last minute of the game sealed the CLA vitctory.
“We did things in the first quarter that we don’t normally do,” Port Allen coach Brandon Ricard said., “It put us in a hole we couldn’t get out of.”
The Pelicans found adversity beyond just the Crusaders.
“I thought our kids played intense, but I wasn’t happy with the officiating,” Ricard said. “They shot 33 free throws and we shot 15. The way the game was played it should’ve been more even.”
Telson Allen had a career-high 21 points to lead Port Allen, while Turner had 14 and Parker 11. Darian Claiborne netted six and Ishmael Lane four.
Jonathan Stove and R.J. Hertzog each had 16 for CLA, which improved to 13-3.
Against Hosanna, the Pelicans got their work done in the first half and didn’t need to look back.
Port Allen soared to a 22-6 lead in the first quarter and led 39-17 at the half.
Things got no better for Hosanna in the second quarter as the Pelicans piled another 18 points and held the visitors to only two.
Each team scored 10 pointsi in the fourth.
Parker paced the Pelicans with 15, while Telson Allen had 12. Turner and Lane each bucketed 11.
Parker and Turner each had three shots from three-poit range.
Port Allen visits St. Charles on Friday and entertains Donaldsonville on Tuesday.