Friday night, three-time defending champion Port Allen was playing for its 5th straight trip to the state semifinals in Lake Charles and the team left no doubt early it would be back in LC once again.
The Pelicans led by 15 points after the first quarter and cruised to a 65-33 victory over No. 8 Ville Platte in the Division III nonselect quarterfinals at the Pels' Nest.
Port Allen advances to face No. 4 Patterson in the semifinals Wednesday at 4:45 p.m. at Burton Coliseum. Patterson beat No 5 Rayville 58-53 Friday.
"We talk about being dominant," Port Allen coach Dimario Jackson said. "We got in the film room on Wednesday. We saw our mistakes from Tuesday, the turnovers we had, offensive rebounds we gave up. I thought we corrected that tonight. We have to be able to celebrate this and enjoy it but we gotta have short-term memory."
EJ McQuillan's three gave Port Allen an 8-0 lead to start the game and the onslaught continued.
The Pelicans drained three 3-pointers as part of a 26-point first quarter. Port Allen outscored Ville Platte 14-6 in the second quarter to take a 40-17 lead at halftime.
The Port Allen defense stifled Ville Platte in the third, holding the Bulldogs to four points.
Isaiah Howard led all scorers with 19 points. Aries Lewis added 15. McQuillan and Frank Samuel were both in double figures with 12 and 11 points respectively.
Friday's game was the final home game for seniors Howard, Samuel and McQuillan.
"We knew this was our last game on this court and we had to make it special," McQuillan said. "We didn't want to go home."
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