The Port Allen Pelicans overcame a second-half deficit to top the Livonia Wildcats 59-50 at home Tuesday night.
Livonia led 30-23 following J.P. Richards’ 3-pointer early in the third quarter. From that point, the Pelicans outscored the Wildcats 21-12 to enter the fourth quarter with a two-point lead and never trailed in the fourth to secure the win.
“A lot of it was guys had to settle in,” Port Allen head coach Derrick Jones said of his team’s slow start. “You had some of those first-game jitters going on. We played pretty well defensively in the first half and offensively, we got a lot of good looks, they just didn’t go in. I told them at halftime, most people will tell you, ‘hey stop shooting because they’re not going in, do something else,’ but I don’t believe in that. I believe you guys work hard, you spend a lot of time working your jump shot keep shooting. We had a c+ouple of guys make some and that kind of broke it open and it becomes contagious.”
Livonia carried a 14-10 lead into the second quarter, but a Julien Jarvis layup tied the game at 16 with six minutes left before halftime. The Wildcats built a 23-18 lead thanks to a 7-2 run, but the Pelicans closed the gap to two points at halftime.
A quick 5-0 Livonia run gave the Wildcats a 30-23. The Pelicans responded with an 11-2 run capped by back-to-back corner threes from Jy’ron Allen to give Port Allen a 34-32 lead with 4:59 left in the third quarter.
“Jy’ron’s a gym rat,” Jones said. “He’s a little dude, but he has a big ol’ heart. Coach (Earnest) Porter suggested we start him in the second half. He said he felt like Jy was going to knock something down. We started him, he made a couple and kind of got us going.”
Eric Antoine’s 3-pointer put the Pelicans ahead 42-37 with 2:57 left in the third.
Port Allen led by two entering the fourth and Jarvis capped a 14-2 run with a jumper that gave the team a 58-44, which put the game out of reach.
Allen led the way with 15 points followed by Jalen Knox was also in double figures with 10. Kentae Williams added nine and Jarvis chipped in with eight.
The Pelicans were hampered with foul trouble early on and the bench stepped up to produce in a big way led by Allen.
“It’s always a good sign when you can go into your bench, they come in and they actually spread the lead out,” Jones said. “One of our philosophies is to play deep into our bench and have guys ready. We start different lineups almost every game, so they all believe they’re starters and they feel like they’re capable of going out and doing it.”
The Pelicans will be on the road against Denham Springs Thursday.
Lady Pels lose close game
The Port Allen lost a lead in the third quarter and couldn’t regain it on the way to a 49-45 loss to the Livonia Lady Wildcats.
“Even when we had the lead, I felt like we didn’t start the game with that spark that we needed to compete at this level right now,” said Port Allen head coach Kim Cox. We were lackadaisical, not moving with a purpose and that’s what essentially led to them jumping out in the lead. We weren’t getting out on shooters, just kind of showing up for games and we can’t do that.”
Port Allen’s Mya Lee hit a floater that gave the Lady Pels a 13-3 advantage late in the first quarter.
Livonia got to within two points after Shakayln Cotter hit back-to-back threes midway through the second quarter.
The Lady Pelicans went into halftime with a 23-21 lead.
Corlette Richard’s free throws gave Livonia its first lead at 33-31 with 1:10 left in the third quarter.
The Lady Wildcats extended the lead to 46-37 late in the fourth quarter before the Lady Pelicans went on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 46-45 with 17 seconds left thanks to Alyasia Percy’s layup.
However, Cotter made a layup and got fouled with six seconds left. Her free throw extended the lead to 49-45.
Chelsey White paced the Pelicans with 14 points to go with 20 rebounds and six blocks. Lee was in double figures with 13 and Percy added eight points.
“It was a game that we should’ve won and we let it slip away in our own house, which is a problem,” Cox said. “The bright side would be the effort that they gave at the end, the extra push they gave at the end.”
The Lady Pels host Donaldsonville Thursday.