District preview night was Saturday’s theme at the East Baton Rouge/Bob Pettit/Coca-Cola Basketball Tournament.
Three of the four quarterfinal matchups featured teams from the same district, but it was the evening’s finale matching a pair of Class 5A teams from different leagues that highlighted the event.
Freshman Tyrese Radford’s three-point play with 18 seconds to play gave No. 4 McKinley the lead for good and Kyle Woods added a pair of free throws in a 48-44 victory over No. 5 Zachary before a jammed-packed Tara High gym.
Top-seed and three-time defending tournament champion Scotlandville advanced past No. 8 Broadmoor 73-58 in a matchup of District 4-5A counterparts.
The Hornets (13-3) face McKinley in one semifinal at 6 p.m. Sunday, with action shifting back to Southern’s F.G. Clark Activity Center.
The other semifinal pairs No. 2 Madison Prep and No. 6 Tara at 7:30 p.m. The Chargers overwhelmed No. 7 and District 6-1A foe Southern Lab 60-35, while the homestanding Trojans posted the biggest upset with a 54-49 win over District 6-4A opponent Belaire, the No. 3 seed.
“It’s another game,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said of running into a league foe. “Sometimes you play them three and four times. We’re just concentrating on us, regardless of who were playing. We’re trying to close this first season out on a good note.”
TARA 54, BELAIRE 49: Tara (9-8) erased a seven-point second-quarter deficit and went on to outscore Belaire 25-10 to hold a 32-25 halftime lead.
Leading scorer Paul Johnson scored 10 of his 18 points in the first half, including seven in the second quarter when Tara went on a 15-5 run to erase its deficit. Center Youry White added 10 for the Trojans.
“I just challenged them,” Tara coach Marqus Mitchell said. “I told them winning the district championship starts tonight. If you’re down, you have to shake your own rival in your own district.”
Tim Johnson led Belaire (12-6) with 15 and Terrance Johnson added 11.
MADISON PREP 60, SOUTHERN LAB 35: Madison Prep (14-1) rattled off the game’s first eight points and built a 19-5 first-quarter lead before Southern Lab battled back midway through the second quarter.
The Kittens (10-3) went on an 8-0 run late in the quarter with Sheldon Carroll scoring four straight points, narrowing the Chargers lead to 29-22 at halftime.
Rhode Island signee Christian Thompson touched off a stretch of 18 unanswered points with a three-point play — bridging the third and fourth quarters — with MPA establishing a 50-24 advantage on Brandon Sampson’s tap-in with 6:54 remaining.
“Me and (Southern Lab) coach (Devan) Clark didn’t want to play each other with two meaningful games coming up in January and February,” MPA coach Jeff Jones said. “Ultimately, we want our kids to play well and play hard.”
Sampson was one of three MPA players to score 13 points, joining Thompson and Jalen Brown, while Josh Anderson added 10.
SCOTLANDVILLE 73, BROADMOOR 58: Center Brian Smith scored 14 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to keep Broadmoor in contention.
The Buccaneers (8-6) led 15-12 at the 5:45 mark of the second quarter and after three deadlocks, the Hornets finished on a 14-2 run with Levi Lewis draining a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 35-25 edge.
Broadmoor remained within eight (36-28) until Ja’Vonte Smart scored three straight points followed by layups from Lamarq Williams and Malik Williams that pushed Scotlandville’s lead to 46-28 with just over three minutes showing.
Tennessee-Chattanooga signee LaMarcus Lee finished with 21 to lead the Hornets with 13 each from Smart and Lamarq Williams.
MCKINLEY 47, ZACHARY 44: The game was tied three times in the fourth quarter, the last one coming on Keeyon Smart’s two free throws with 1:21 left.
Zachary (9-6) recaptured a 44-43 edge with 32 seconds left on Demoine Bowie’s free throw until Radford delivered his three-point play, giving McKinley (9-5) only its second field goal of the quarter.
Keion Brown paced McKinley with 12, while Matt Williams’ 16 led Zachary.