LAKE CHARLES — The Class 2A championship game will be a rematch from last year’s nail biter.
The Port Allen defense swarmed Lakeview throughout the game and helped the Pelicans pull away in the second half for a 74-60 victory in the Class 2A semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boys Basketball tournament at Burton Coliseum Tuesday night.
Port Allen (29-6) gets another crack at two-time defending champion Rayville at 6 p.m. Friday. Rayville beat Red River 90-67 Tuesday afternoon.
“I thought we did a pretty good job defending through three and a half quarters,” said Port Allen coach Derrick Jones. “They made some hard shots they’re a really good team. They can score the ball. I thought our guys really did a good job of embracing the scouting report and really executing it on the floor. Offensively we did a good job of playing to our strengths.”
Port Allen’s defense forced Lakeview to shoot less than 35 percent for the entire game. Port Allen claimed its largest lead of the first half at 33-21 thanks to Jalen Knox’s two free throws midway through the second quarter.
Lakeview cut the deficit to 37-28 going into halftime.
Port Allen went on a 15-7 run capped by Jy’Ron Allen’s 3-pointer, which opened the lead to 52-35 with 1:10 left in the third quarter.
The lead ballooned to as much as 22 in the fourth quarter.
Collin Holloway notched a double-double with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Jalen Knox added 18 points to go with 8 rebounds.
“The whole year coach has been giving me the green light. I didn’t ask for it, I just worked for it in practice,” Knox said. “I put in the extra work so when it does come to those moments, when the team really needs me for this or that, I’m there.”
Tawasky Johnson and Elliot McQuillan added eight points each. Timothy Washington Jr. led Lakeview with 20 points. Nate Braden chipped in with 16.
“I’ve been in this situation for the last two years,” Holloway said. “I actually never got past this game. These dudes were in the finals last year. I’m a senior this year so I know I have to step up and play my role. I was blessed with teammates and a coaching staff that believes in me and what I’ve been doing. I just stepped up and made shots.”