Fernandez layup 0203

Ji'Siah Fernandez attempts a layup during Port Allen's win over Avoyelles Public Charter Tuesday in Port Allen.

Second chance opportunities on offense and limiting the opponent to one shot on the defensive end allowed Port Allen to overcome a small halftime deficit.

Port Allen (15-9) dominated the glass in the second half and made plays down the stretch to hold on for a 43-40 win over Avoyelles Public Charter Tuesday night in Port Allen.

The Pelicans were able to honor their three seniors Jordan Brooks, Jalen Knox and Jermireck Jordan with a win on senior night.

“Those seniors have been really good,” said Port Allen coach Dimario Jackson. “From Jermireck to Jalen who’s a two-time state champ. Jordan is a two-time state champ. Those dudes have taken this team under their wing. They’re leading every day, setting the tempo in practice when we get on the practice floor. They’re coming out here and giving all they got. It sucks for Jalen being out, but he’s been a vital part since he’s been out. We’ve put him on the staff. He has a role that he’s playing. He’s been doing a really good job.”

Brooks led the way for Port Allen with a game-high 19 points. Aries Lewis had eight points. Derrius Carter led Avoyelles Charter with 16.

Port Allen led 35-33 heading into the fourth quarter. The Pelicans led by as many as six in the fourth at 39-33 on a putback by Lewis. The Vikings cut the deficit to one point with less than a second left before Brooks hit two free throws to ice the game.

Port Allen held a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter before Avoyelles Charter went on a 9-4 spurt to claim a 23-19 lead midway through the second quarter.

Isaiah Howard’s putback capped a quick 5-0 spurt for Port Allen, which put the Pelicans ahead 24-19 with 2:45 remaining in the first half.

The Vikings drilled a three at the buzzer to take a 26-24 lead.

“We started the game off and our energy level was down and they (Avoyelles Charter) came out with energy and they made some shots,” Jackson said. “Defensively, we were better in the second half. We made enough plays to win the game.

“Jordan (Brooks) Aries (Lewis) and Jermireck did a really good job of controlling the glass,” he added. “Even finally when we started getting them to miss shots, we were controlling the boards and we started dictating the tempo in the second half.”

Tuesday’s win was Port Allen’s second straight victory following a win over Brusly. Jackson said shots haven’t fallen for his team recently but the effort is there.

“These dudes are playing really hard,” he said. “I know we started off slow but they’re competing hard. The ball don’t fall sometimes, but that’s why we hang our hats on defense to win games like this.”

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