(1) PORT ALLEN 78, (2) RAYVILLE 74 — OT
at Burton Coliseum, Friday (Mar. 13), Class 2A Championship
Records: Port Allen, 28-6; Rayville, 28-7
HOW THE GAME WAS WON: 3 KEY MOMENTS
- Regulation wasn’t enough for Class 2A’s top two seeds as they headed into overtime tied at 70. Port Allen’s Jalen Knox knocked down a pair of free throws for the first lead of the extra period, but Rayville answered with a steal by Jallon Qualls that led to a layup by Labrandon Butler for a 74-73 lead with 1:09 left. Knox would soon make his way to the line again making the first of two, but Collin Holloway came up with a huge offensive rebound. That led to a long possession for Port Allen that finally ended with a driving layup by Knox for a 76-74 advantage with just 27.8 seconds to go. The Pels then followed that possession with a defensive stop and the sequence of Knox making the first of two foul shots before a Holloway offensive rebound played itself out once again. This time there were only 3.0 seconds left in the game and Holloway made the first of two for a 78-74 lead and Port Allen’s eventual margin of victory in their first state title victory.
- The situation was looking pretty bleak for Port Allen after two straight buckets by Tawasky Johnson tied the score at 66 with 1:24 left, but then Johnson, one of the Pels’ top players, fouled out on the ensuing possession. Rayville’s Damerion Williams knocked down both free throws to re-take the lead and soon hit two more to put the Hornets ahead 70-66 with 22.7 left in regulation. Port Allen answered with a quick layup off a back cut by Collin Holloway after a timeout and immediately fouled Rayville sending them to the foul line again. This time it was Labrandon Butler going to the stripe instead of Williams (7-of-9 free throws), and he missed both leaving the door open for PA. Holloway hauled in the rebound before soon being fouled with 10.0 seconds left, and the Cel’s top prospect hit both to tie the game. He followed those heroics with a block on the other end to send the game into overtime.
- To say Port Allen started the game hot wouldn’t do them justice. The Pelicans scored the first 13 points of the game and didn’t allow Rayville to get on the board until the 4:40 mark. They actually increased their lead to 26-10 early in the second quarter, but that’s when Rayville finally woke up going on a 14-7 run to get themselves to a manageable, 33-24 deficit with 4:22 left after a 3-pointer by Kashie Natt. The Hornets pulled within, 42-37, by the end of the first half and took their first lead of the game in the third quarter building it as high as, 49-43, with 3:00 left in the period following a big alley-oop slam to Ramaja Pleasant.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Collin Holloway, Port Allen
There was no suspense when the LHSAA was set to announce the Most Outstanding Player of the game as Holloway was the clear choice. The 6-foot-5 wing was dominant from the outset scoring 19 first-half points en route to a 32-point performance on 12-of-23 shooting. That included a 2-for-5 outing from behind the arc and 6-of-10 from the free throw line while also grabbing 11 rebounds with two blocks and two steals in 34 minutes. Holloway, who has now won a title in his only season with Port Allen after transferring from Catholic-B.R. this past offseason, also had a plethora of key plays down the stretch including field goals, free throws, rebounds and blocks.
- It was a once-in-a-lifetime setting Friday in Burton Coliseum as the coronavirus outbreak forced the LHSAA to turn away fans at the gate. Only a select few outside of players and coaches were allowed in the building including LHSAA staff, security, media and a handful of school officials. There were likely no more than 50-60 people in the arena at one time in what was the oddest “atmosphere” anyone will run across for a state championship game. Regardless of the attendance, though, players and coaches were universally thankful to the LHSAA for allowing the championships to be played.
- Friday’s victory gave Port Allen its first boys basketball championship in school history to conclude coach Derrick Jones’ third year at the helm of the program. The Pels also advanced to the state title game last season falling to Rayville, 61-48, which was their first runner-up finish since 1999.
- Most of the numbers seemed to favor Rayville as they outshot Port Allen making 30 of their 58 attempts to 28-of-63. They also shot a higher percentage from three going 5-of-10 to 5-of-19, but the Pelicans had a huge advantage in points off of turnovers (25-6) as well as free throws made (17-of-31 to 9-of-15).
Port Allen Interviews: Coming soon…
Rayville Interviews: Coming soon…
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Rayville | 10 | 27 (37) | 19 (56) | 14 (70) | 4 – 74
Port Allen | 24 | 18 (42) | 10 (52) | 18 (70) | 8 – 78
Rayville: Zyquarius Cowart, 17; Kashie Natt, 14; Jalon Qualls, 13; Dameron Williams, 13; Labrandon Butler, 9; Ramaja Pleasant, 6.
Port Allen: Collin Holloway, 32; Tawasky Johnson, 14; Jalen Knox, 14; Jy’Ron Allen, 10; E.J. McQuilian, 8.