“When you’ve got ... guys that can finish around the rim and play volleyball above our heads, it makes it tough.” WYNN WINGATE, Denham Springs coach
DENHAM SPRINGS — There was too much Scotlandville defense and too much Brian Bridgewater on Friday night as the Hornets opened District 4-5A play with a 77-34 win at Denham Springs.
Scotlandville (19-2, 1-0) held the Yellow Jackets to single-digit scoring in three of four quarters. Bridgewater led four Hornets in double figures with 21 points, but his defense was what impressed Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample.
“Brian played well tonight. He made some strong post moves, and he did a good job of defending,” Sample said. “That’s what we’ve been talking about.”
Ezekiel Brown made four 3-pointers and tallied 17 for Scotlandville. Vincent Sanders had three 3-pointers, and he and Tre’lun Banks totaled 11 points each.
Antonio Evans topped the Yellow Jackets with 11 points.
Denham Springs (5-15, 0-1) struggled against the Hornets’ front line of 6-foot-8 Damien Jones, 6-8 Jared Sam and the 6-6 Bridgewater.
The Yellow Jackets’ tallest players were Zach Davidson and Josh Fabre, both 6-4.
“They’re a great team,” Denham Springs coach Wynn Wingate said. “When you’ve got guards that shoot like they do, and guys that can finish around the rim and play volleyball above our heads, it makes it tough.”
Scotlandville built a 34-13 halftime lead and outscored the Jackets 23-13 in the third to put the game out of reach. Bridgewater scored 13 in the quarter, an effort capped off by his steal and high-flying dunk with less than two minutes remaining.
“I think we did an outstanding job defensively,” Sample said. “You’re not going to stop people from scoring, but we did OK at minimizing their offense. The guys on the inside did a good job.”
Scotlandville took command from the outset, scoring the game’s first 15 points. Bridgewater had six points and a blocked shot, and Damien Jones had a pair of inside baskets and an assist to spark the run.
Banks’ jumper made it 15-0 with 3:25 left in the first quarter, but Denham Springs responded. Elton Knight’s 3-pointer highlighted a 7-0 spurt for the Jackets, their best run of the game.
Jared Sam fed Jones for a basket, and Banks scored in the lane giving Scotlandville a 19-7 lead after one quarter.
Both teams struggled from the floor in the second quarter, but the Hornets made the most of their chances. After Scotlandville missed its first four shots of the quarter, Sanders hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
The only tense moment for Scotlandville came early in the quarter when Bridgewater appeared to tweak an ankle, and left the game. He returned before halftime and appeared good as new.
Banks’ three-point play gave Scotlandville a 25-9 lead midway through the second, and Brown added a three-point play of his own a minute later.
Banks scored in the lane, and Brown made two free throws to give Scotlandville a 34-13 halftime lead.
“I think this was one of our better defensive games,” Sample said. “The first district game, on the road, you always want to win those. We know we have a tough road ahead.”