ASH wins first state title in low-scoring battle against Bonnabel

LaMar Gafford
Alexandria Town Talk
The Trojans hoist the Class 5A title after winning it Friday over Bonnabel.

LAKE CHARLES — There might have some opening jitters for Alexandria Senior High, but once it settled in, it was determined to win a state title.

In their first taste of Marsh Madness, the Trojans won their first basketball state championship with a 38-37 win over Bonnabel at Burton Coliseum.

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"If you told me that we would be here in the summer or even in December, I probably would have called you a liar," ASH coach Lance Brasher said. "But we did. In January we started really playing the type of defense that I envisioned all of our guys being able to play."

The Trojans used that defense and turned it into making timely shots, as they played the perfect game to defeat the Bruins.

ASH did not have a player scoring in double figures, but it was a collective effort led by senior Latrell Holly, who had nine points and eight rebounds to earn MVP honors.

Alexandria Senior High senior Latrell Holly (4) drives for two points against Bonnabel in the Class 5A championship game. Holly was named as the game's MVP with 9 points and 8 rebounds.

"I just love my team," said Holly, who had very few words after realizing that his dream of becoming a champion had come true.

The Trojans shot 41.2 percent from the floor and went 9-for-10 from the free-throw line.

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While Bruin junior Will Allen had 10 points and eight rebounds, ASH made life hard on Bonnabel's guards, with the trio of Torrence Bardell, Tyron Williams and Theo Johnson shooting a combined 2-for-19.

"We were concerned with (Williams) going into the game, we saw how well he played against Walker," Brasher said. "We felt with our guards guarding him that we would make it tough for him."

Bonnabel jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but after the Trojans' offense got going, Bonnabel struggled.

While the Bruins shot well in the Class 5A semifinals Wednesday against Walker, they only made 26.8 percent of their shots Friday — and 2-of-16 beyond the 3-point arc.

Bonnabel still had a shot to win the game with .7 seconds left, but senior Jadarius "Bud" Clark — a TCU signee as a defensive back in football — deflected a lob attempt to Will Allen to secure the win.

"Dez (McQuain) and I talked about how low scoring the Madison Prep/Wossman and Carver/Breaux Bridge games were," Brasher said. "We said that this was going to be that type of game, because of the way we play and the way they try to play. 38-37 is really ugly, but we'll take it. So, we're very excited."

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Alexandria Senior High guard Dez McQuain (11) goes down the lane during the Trojans' battle against Bonnabel for the Class 5A championship Friday.

The emotions were there for Brasher and his Trojans, who lost in the first round in each of the last three years before he took the job last spring.

With the win, Brasher joined a select group to win a state title as a player (with Peabody in 2004) and as a coach.

"It really hasn't set in yet," Brasher said. "I still feel like we're down 8-0, but it's probably going to hit me when we go eat somewhere in a minute. It was just an ugly game back-and-forth, but our guys fought for everything that they got. That's what I'm most proud of."

Alexandria Senior High coach Lance Brasher (left) hugs sophomore Noah Jonker after the Trojans' 38-37 victory over Bonnabel in the 2020 Class 5A championship game.