It wasn’t a typical way to earn a victory, but the Port Allen Pelicans will take it.
Breaux Bridge big man Trevonte Slyvester finished the game with 16 points, but the Tigers needed 18 from him as his layup bounced out as time expired to clinch a 52-51 win for the Pelicans in Port Allen Wednesday night.
"Just like we drew it up,” Port Allen head coach Derrick Jones said jokingly with a smile. “Give them a layup at the end of the game and they’re going to miss it. We were trying to make them catch and front, four seconds on the clock, make them use some clock. They threw it over the top. They almost turned it over on the inbounds and one of our guys let his guy get behind him and we were just fortunate at the end. We’ve been on the other side of that a lot and it feels good to walk away with the win.”
Port Allen (11-9) took a one-point lead with 4.1 seconds left thanks to Tawasky Johnson’s floater in traffic.
"In the first half, we weren’t really coming out and competing right," Johnson said. "In the second half, we stepped up on defense to get the win… We had to really get into the game because we tried to play their game. We had to really calm down and step to our level and play our game and then we got the win."
A short jumper put port Allen ahead 16-9 early in the second quarter before Breaux Bridge (17-3) rallied back to outscore Port Allen 15-4 the rest of the way and take a 24-20 lead into halftime.
Port Allen tied the game at 29 with 3:10 left in the third and Marcus Joseph’s shot at the end of the third gave the Pelicans a 38-37 lead going into the fourth.
Breaux Bridge led 51-50 with 38.7 seconds and an opportunity at free throws, but the Tigers missed the front end of the one-and-one, which set up Johnson’s game-winning shot.
"He (Johnson) and Marcus Joseph were huge down the stretch handling the ball, creating for themselves and other guys," Jones said. "Tawasky, he’s kinda earned the respect of his teammates from what he’s done in practice, how hard he works. He’s hard to guard. We knew if we put him in space he was going to get a pretty good shot off and he did."
Johnson had a game-high 19 points, with 18 coming in the second half. Gerrod Franklin added 11 points and Joseph was in double figures as well with 10.
"I think we’re starting to find an identity and as coaches, we’re getting a little bit more comfortable with lineups and what guys work the best together," Jones said. "We’re getting a feel, but now it’s time to take it up a notch."
Port Allen will host Brusly Friday.