Belaire edges Green Devils in District 6-4A finale

Plaquemine's Damion Oubre battles Belaire's Rydell Alexander for a rebound in the fourth quarter of the Bengals' 60-59 District 6-4A victory on Tuesday night. Alexander had nine points and Oubre two. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

PLAQUEMINE - Belaire High School converted the deciding free throw with four seconds remaining to edge Plaquemine 60-59 in a District 6-4A matchup on Tuesday night at PSHS’ gym.

The Green Devils (19-10, 7-1), under coach Donald Ray Johnson, already had wrapped up the league title but had their seven game winning streak snapped. LHSAA playoff brackets will be released Monday. As of Tuesday, the Green Devils were No. 18 in unofficial Class 4A power ratings.

“The only way we win, is if we play as a team,” Johnson said. “That is how we won these seven district games. We played as a team and stayed together no matter what happens.

“We just didn’t come ready to play today. They played with more energy and wanted it more than us. Our guys thought since we had the district championship already wrapped up, we didn’t have to put out the effort. We just didn’t play with any defensive intensity. We didn’t stop their penetration and they scored all their points in the paint.”

Devante “D.J.” Marshall led the Green Devils with 16 points. Clifton “C.J.” Young added 15, Louis “Trey” Conerly and Cameron Garner each nine, all on 3-pointers, Kirkland Jones four and Demetrius Franklin and Damion Oubre each two.

Kentrell Smith led Belaire (13-15, 3-5)  with 14 points. Darius Williams added 12, Tim Johnson 10, Rydell Alexander nine, Terrance Johnson eight and Terrance West seven.

Young’s drive in transition tied the score 59-59 with 11.7 seconds remaining but Alexander made the second of two free throws to provide the difference after being fouled in the act of shooting.

Williams’ hop in the lane opened the fourth quarter before Jones drove baseline. Young’s baseline jumper gave Plaquemine a brief lead before Alexander answered and Johnson scored twice inside to put the Bengals up by five.

But Garner and Conerly each nailed 3-pointers from opposite corners to inch the Green Devils back into it.

Plaquemine led 17-11 going into the second quarter following Garner’s first trey before West’s 3-point play. Young’s runner in the lane opened the contest before Marshall’s spin and putback gave the Green Devils a 12-8 lead.

Marshall opened the second quarter with a drive and another spin before Williams and Conerly traded 3-pointers. Jones’ jumper put Plaquemine ahead 31-25 at halftime following Garner’s 3-pointer from the left corner and Marshall’s putback.

The third quarter saw a total of seven lead changes. Conerly’s 3-pointer from the right corner gave the Green Devils’ their largest lead of the frame after Smith’s trey cut the deficit to one.

Young’s pull up jumper with two seconds remaining put Plaquemine ahead 44-43 going into the fourth quarter after his putback had given them a brief lead before Johnson answered.