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Second half surge lifts Ascension Catholic over St. John

Michael Tortorich
Plaquemine Post South

After battling to a 30-30 tie at halftime, Ascension Catholic came out of the locker room determined in the second half Tuesday night at St. John.

Ascension Catholic's J'Mond Tapp snagged a steal, then coasted for a wide-open dunk to open the scoring in the third quarter. He then followed with a three-point play, giving the Bulldogs the spark they needed.

Ascension Catholic held the lead the rest of the way, eventually claiming a 77-60 win over the Eagles.

Bulldogs head coach Kylon Green said his team came out flat, but was able to gel after the half.

"We had two emotional games back to back," he said. "They were kind of on a high horse after the Donaldsonville game. Coming back, we're in another heated rivalry in a hostile environment. We showed our youth at times, but we were able to turn it on in the second half."

Eagles head coach Franky Hebert said his team gave the visiting Bulldogs a window of opportunity to separate themselves.

"I thought we started out really well," he said. "I thought we were executing the game plan well. We kind of became a little too relaxed defensively toward the end of the first quarter and into the second. As soon as we picked it up, we went into halftime tied. Defensively, we kind of lost it for a two-minute period in the third. Against a good program, a good team like that, you can't lose it for two minutes."

St. John led through the first quarter. Connor Barbee, who led the Eagles with 22 points, hit two 3-pointers in the first. His second shot fell at the buzzer from beyond half court.

In the second quarter, Ascension Catholic's Demarco Harry, who finished with a game-high 28 points, began to heat up. He opened the second with a 3-pointer, then gave the Bulldogs their first lead by completing a three-point play.

The Eagles took back the lead later in the second, and went to the break tied after a pair of free throws by Galvin Martin.

The Bulldogs built their lead through the third quarter. Dorian Barber, who finished with 13 points, hit three of his four 3-pointers in the third. Jack Abadie also contributed a 3-pointer during the quarter. At the buzzer, Demarco Harry tacked on a three, giving the Bulldogs a 56-43 lead going into the fourth.

The final quarter started with more of the same as Barber sank a three, prompting a timeout.

Demontray Harry, who finished with 12 points, followed by adding three free throws after getting fouled while attempting a three.

The Eagles hit four 3-pointers of their own in the fourth quarter, as they tried to battle back into the game.

Ascension Catholic's Khai Prean scored ten points for the Bulldogs, while Tapp finished with nine. Abadie recorded five.

"We had a lot of depth tonight," Green said. We practice hard. I was happy to see some aggressiveness on defense from guys who came off the bench. They came in and took some shots we like them to take. We always have faith in those guys making those shots."

Martin finished with 15 for St. John. Chris Holmes scored ten, while Cobie Lockett had six. Jacob Schlatre added four, Isaiah Jones two, and Joseph Schlatre one.

"We're playing hard right now," Hebert said. "I think we're finally putting the pieces together. Last year I think we peaked kind of early. This year, I think we're peaking at the right time. I know this game doesn't show it, but we're playing better as a team. We're coming together, and I think this is the right time to do it."