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Turning up the heat

Written by John Dupont on .

Brusly topples Port Allen 55-44 in fierce 7-3A battle

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The heated rivalry between Port Allen and Brusly continued in a pivotal 7-3A showdown last week.

In the end, the jam-packed crowd at BHS Gymnasium saw DeMario Jackson deliver the best effort of his career in a 55-44 win over the Pelicans.

Jackson posted a career-high 33 points and finished 16-of-17 at the free throw line to pace the Panthers. Nick Parker led Port Allen with 19 points.

Jackson and Parker were the only two players to score in the double digits. Micah Spears finished with six, Jay Christophe five, and Trayvin Thibodeaux three. Michael Bryant and Donald Williams each had two. Jarius Turner and Telson Allen each posted eight for PAHS, while Ishmael Lane scored five. Darian Claiborne and Marcus Keyes each netted two.

The first quarter opened slow for both squads, but the Panthers closed it out with a 12-10 lead. The game remained tight in the second quarter and resulted in a 23-20 halftime Brusly advantage.

“Intense, intense. It was a very tight first quarter,” Brusly coach Harold Boudreaux said. “Both teams played hard, and Port Allen always plays extra hard against us.”

Boudreaux said he went the extra mile to bring even more motivation to Jackson, his top scorer on the team.

“I told him at the beginning of the week that we were going to have a tough game,” Boudreaux said. “I told him we need to forget about the record and the power points, go out there, play between the black lines and play hard to win.”

Minor altercations and subsequent fouls at some times created a distraction from what was a hard-fought four quarters of action.

The third quarter put the game in Brusly’s direction after the Pels were tagged with two technical fouls. Jackson shot all four free throws and finished with eight points in the third quarter.

“Of course, it hurt our momentum,” Port Allen coach Brandon Ricard said. “That’s when the game shifted.

The officiating and his team’s performance disappointed Ricard.

“I think the referees – neither one – saw one of our kids get hit in the mouth,” he said. “Later in the game, a ref sees one of Brusly’s guys pushing ours and it’s no foul. I can’t get that.

“Some stuff just wasn’t seen, but granted we didn’t play a good game like we should have,” Ricard said. “It wasn’t the game plan we wanted to follow. DeMario had a great game, but we didn’t follow our game plan at all. I was disappointed in our defensive effort because it wasn’t executed at all.”

Boudreaux told his players to ignore the distractions from the technical fouls.

“I told them they had to get past that and stay focused,” he said. “You just got to go along with it.”

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