PA vs. Episcopal

Port Allen's Tawasky Johnson makes a layup against Episcopal Friday night at Dunham.

The Port Allen Pelicans earned a shot redemption.

Port Allen will have a rematch with the Dunham Tigers in the District 8-2A tournament championship Saturday after taking care of the Episcopal Knights 57-39 in the semifinals Friday night.

Dunham defeated Port Allen 78-36 Jan.18 at Dunham.

"I was really impressed with how our guys communicated, how we flew around and the energy level we sustained over four quarters," said Port Allen head coach Derrick Jones. "We came off the bench and were able to sub and not lose anything. I was really impressed."

The Pelicans held a seven-point halftime lead before extending the lead to 11 points at 30-19 thanks to Marcus Joseph's layup. 

Joseph later hit a 3-pointer, which gave the Port Allen its largest lead of the game at that point at 35-23 with 4:50 remaining in the third.

Billy Ferguson's bucket just before the end of the third sent the Pelicans into the final quarter with a 44-29 advantage.

Tawasky Johnson brought the Port Allen bench to its feet with a one-handed jam early in the fourth to boost the lead to 46-29.

Back-to-back buckets from Joseph, along with a thunderous one-handed slam from Johnson put the game out of reach.

Johnson came close to a couple of jams in the first half, but opted for finger-roll layups.

"Some of my teammates told me I was getting close to dunking," Johnson said. "I just started visualizing like if you get close to it, just put it in and that's what I did."

Johnson finished with 18 points, followed by Joseph's 15 points.

The championship matchup is set for 5 p.m. Saturday at Dunham after the Tigers disposed of Capitol on Friday.

"Dunham is a really really good team, one of best teams in the state and that's what we signed up for," Jones said. "When you sign up to play Port Allen basketball, you want to compete against the best and we get a chance to do that tomorrow."

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