Down the stretch: Tigers avenge lone district loss to WSJ in final seconds

PETER SILAS PASQUA ppasqua@postsouth.com
East Iberville's Quantae Johnson converts in between West St. John's Morell Bartholemew and Dovante Mitchell in the fourth quarter of the Tigers' 49-48 District 8-1A victory on Friday night. Johnson and Bartholemew each had 16 points. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

ST. GABRIEL - East Iberville High School avenged its lone District 8-1A loss on Friday night with a 49-48 victory over West St. John in the closing seconds at EIHS' gym.

The Tigers (10-13, 4-1), under coach Doug Schultz, only have lost to the Rams in league play. East Iberville was scheduled to travel to White Castle Wednesday for a makeup game before going to Ascension Christian Friday and hosting St. John Tuesday.

"This win is big especially for being such a young team," Schultz said. "I was glad to get this game under our belt. We didn't get a chance to practice during the storm so we were ice cold in the first half but free throws down the stretch were so important tonight. A lot of games come down to that.

"I think we can give everybody a run for their money this year."

Quantae Johnson led the Tigers with 16 points including the game winner. Kylen Popular added 10, Tyler James nine, Khris Grace six and Junius Chong and Kedrick Oubre each four. East Iberville converted 18-of-26 free throws including 11-of-15 in the fourth quarter.

West St. John (6-10, 3-3) was led by Quan Scott and Morell Bartholemew each with 16. Jemonie Green added eight and Jordan Hamilton five. The Rams were just 9-of-25 from the charity stripe.

The Rams led 8-7 going into the second quarter and 23-20 at the half before taking a 36-32 lead into the fourth quarter.

Johnson drove lane to convert an up and under with seven seconds remaining and Scott's desperation heave was no good to give the Tigers the win.

"Quantae just runs the whole time and never gives up," Schultz said. "He knows he has the green light at all times. We spread the floor out for him and if he gets past a pick, I don't think anybody in our district can stop him."

The final stanza saw 30 free throws attempts between the teams combined as both got into the bonus early.

Oubre's two pair gave the Tigers the lead with about five minutes remaining before Johnson's putback had East Iberville ahead 42-38.

Scott received a kind bounce on a second 3-pointer from the left coner to knot it up 46-46 with 2:31 left to play following James' pump fake inside.

Bartholemew's drive put the Rams ahead with 1:30 left but Popular converted a free throw to set up the dramatics after the Tigers failed to convert a fast break.

"With the addition of Kylen, we have truly picked it up the second half of the season," Schultz said. "He brings a different aspect to the game, is a hustler and won't let anybody quit. He is always motivated."