On a court filled with a number of players 6-foot-6 or taller, the guards were the difference makers Tuesday night.
Istrouma High guard Devin Bethley kept the Indians close all night with a 19-point effort. The duo of Tre’Lun Banks and Vincent Sanders led Scotlandville High to a 60-50 win in the game played at Scotlandville.
The non-district game was the third meeting of the year between the two teams who had split the first two.
Sanders hit a 3-pointer to open the night’s scoring, then drained another three with 1:18 left in the game to put Class 5A Scotlandville ahead 53-49 and begin a 12-1 run for the Hornets that ended the game. He finished the game with 13 points.
Banks was the game’s leading scorer with 21 points.
“The last time we played these guys we knew we didn’t play our best ball,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said, “And we kind of wanted to make this a statement game, that we’re still Scotlandville. Everybody that plays us now is going to be on their ‘A’ game, and we wanted to show that we’re ready for the challenge.”
Class 4A Istrouma (7-4) definitely had its ‘A’ game going through the first half, holding the Scotlandville (10-2) to 10 second-quarter points and battling to a 26-26 tie at the half. Marquise Kaigler with eight points and Bethley with seven were the offensive leaders in the first half.
“The first half was total domination by Istrouma’s big men,” Sample said. “In the second half we stepped up a little and got some rebounds and got some baskets.
“We wanted to wait until the second half to extend our defense and put on more pressure. It was a game of spurts, and we got the last spurt.”
Scotlandville’s first spurt came in the third quarter when they outscored Istrouma 18-10, getting six points from big men Jared Sam and Damien Jones and seven from Banks.
The Indians answered, though, with a 10-0 run to open the fourth quarter to pull within one at, 49-48.
That was before Sanders hit his key 3-pointer which put the Hornets on their way to the win.
A rugged full-court defense and the shooting of Bethley, Josh Green and Marquise Kaigler pulled Istrouma close, but Kaigler picked up his fourth foul and eventually fouled out with 2:29 left in the game.
Istrouma coach Aaron Pearson wore a spiffy pair of new work boots to the game.
“Sometimes you have to wear your boots and bring your hard hat to get ready to go to work,” Pearson said. “We were ready to play, and every time we play them it’s a tough one.
“Guard play has been important in every game, and all games have gone the full four quarters. We’re just trying to get better, and I think we’re taking the right steps to get there.”
Marquise Kaigler was the other Indian in double figures with 14 points, while his brother, Carvis, held to four.
Istrouma turned the ball over 17 times compared to 13 turnovers for the Hornets.
Wednesday’s girls basketball game between St. Michael the Archangel and Denham Springs High has been moved up one hour.
The non-district varsity game is now scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. at Denham Springs, according to DSHS coach Shelly Laprarie.
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