WC, NI notch late week 9-A boy hoop victories.

Tryve Brackin
WCHS DAWGS…White Castle Bulldogs Darryl Haynes, left, and Ronald Martin, right, and their teammates were on the verge of another 9-A league title when this week’s district action began.

District 9-A boys’ basketball closes out this week and both White Castle High and North Iberville better their lot with key league victories Friday night.

WCHS beat the third Parish club in the 9-A, East Iberville High Friday night by a narrow 69-67 score to move to 6-1 in league play. The victory was key for Coach Ronald Johnson’s Castlemen because of an early week first district loss on the road at West St. John. The narrow 51-50 loss boosted West St. John to 5-1 in district play with two games remaining this week. White Castle played Ascension CHS on the road Tuesday night, after article deadline, with hopes of closing out league play with only one loss. That would leave the defending district champs with no worse than a share of first place honors with the West St. John Rams.

In the meantime, a young North Iberville Bear team pushed itself into a possible final three-way logjam behind league-leading WCHS and WSJHS with a 63-57 overtime victory over visiting ACHS Friday night. The Bears moved to 2-4 in district play, while ACHS fell to the same 2-4 mark entering the final week of league play. East Iberville, despite slipping to 1-6 with the loss Friday night to White Castle, still has a shot at matching the 9-A showing of NIHS and ACHS in the final standings.

WCHS-EIHS: The 17-14 WCHS Bulldogs bounced back from their tough road loss to the WSJHS Rams earlier in the week by handling a late-game rally by visiting East Iberville to eke out a 69-67 victory.

The EIHS Tigers, who have struggled in 9-A ball after a positive 10-10 preseason court showing, fell for the second time in league play to White Castle, but they did not go down without a fight on the road. The St. Gabriel “cats” clawed their way back into the district contest, but had their 24-14 final-quarter advantage fall just short of victory.

The Tigers took a narrow 16-15 margin at the end of the first period, but the hosting Bulldogs went into their usual home court power mode in the second and third stanzas. WCHS took control of the game with quarter scoring margins of 15-11 and 25-16. The 55-43 advantage at the start of the final period was just enough to get them their sixth district victory as they weathered the Tiger late-game comeback.

Senior guard Generra Varmall poured in a game-high 32 points to lead the hosting WCHS club to the key victory. Dontrell Thomas and Ronald Martin added solid support with 16 and 14 points, respectively. The trio of Jontrell Major, Darrell Haynes, and Terrance Fair combined for 7 more WCHS points.

EIHS point guard Donovan Richardson popped in a team-high 24 points for the visiting Tigers and that included a pair of 3-point buckets. Sheldon Ballom also hit a pair of long-range bombs and finished with 14 points, while Aldrick Nelson had his best scoring game in recent district play as he meshed in 11 points. Junior Mitch Johnson gave the Tigers a fourth player in double figures as he tallied 10 points. Jonathan Belvin rounded out the 11-16 East Iberville High team’s attack with 8 markers.

NIHS-ACHS: The hosting NIHS Bears had to go into overtime, but they avenged a first-round road loss to ACHS with a 63-57 district victory Friday night.

The 7-16 overall Bears took a 12-6 scoring advantage in a single overtime period to win the 9-A contest. North rallied in the final period of regulation time to knot the score at 51-all.

The visiting ACHS Bulldogs took an early 15-6 lead, but the parish hosts narrowed the visitors’ lead over the next two quarters and used a 19-13 scoring margin in the fourth stanza to tie the score at 51-51.

The North Iberville duo of Tre’vion Hawkins and Korbin Scott led the way for the Bear offense in the OT victory with 22 and 17 points, respectively. Jesse Ward provided a third Bear in double figures as he meshed in 10 points. The trio of Nicholaus Parker, Casey Toussaint, and Deon Philson tallied 4 points apiece, while Torray Collins scored 2 points.

Josh Daze was the top scorer for 10-22 ACHS with 16 points, while Matt Pearce finished with 11 points.

EIHS-ACHS: East Iberville High’s Tigers ended a losing skid in 9-A play early last week with a 70-51 victory over visiting Ascension CHS.

The Tigers claimed a 14-8 first-quarter start and a 28-18 halftime margin. ACHS managed to shave a point off the EIHS lead, but the locals rallied back for a 25-15 margin in the final period with win with style.

East was led offensively by the duo of Donovan Richardson and Sheldon Ballom. Richardson popped in 17, while Ballom netted 16. Mitch Johnson gave the Tigers a third player in double figures as he closed with 10 points. Rounding out the Tiger scoring were Jonathan Belvin with 8, Andre Wright with 6, Aldrick Nelson with 5, and the duo of Cedric Bobo and Gabe Schultz with 4 apiece.

Josh Daze led ACHS with 15, while two other ACHS players had double-figure efforts.

4-4 LEAGUE MARKS…North Iberville’s Kadijah Mims, left, and White Castle’s Bryanshel Gibson, right, led their respective parish girl hoop teams to a tie for second in the District 9-A with 4-4 league marks. Mims hit 24 points in a key win over ACHS Friday, while Gibson played solid basketball throughout 9-A play for WCHS, including an 18-point effort in their league finale.