BOYS: Carroll 68, Farmerville 64
Robert Pratt scored eight of his 15 points in the fourth quarter as Carroll rallied from a 13-point third quarter deficit to turn back District 3-2A rival Farmerville 68-64 Thursday night in the Class 3A state championship game at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.
Playing catchup the entire night, the Bulldogs (25-6) went ahead for the first time, 58-56 with 2:53 to play, when Devonta Johnson scored from down low.
Farmerville (21-7) would never regain the lead.
James Donahue's breakaway layup off of a Farmerville turnover and a Josh Johnson free throw finished an 8-0 run, bumping Carroll's lead up to five, 61-56.
DeAndre Elliott's 3-pointer from the circle brought the Farmers within 61-59 with 1:20 on the clock, but Carroll would gradually pull away. Sinking 7-of-10 free throws, the Bulldogs opened up an insurmountable 68-61 lead with 10 seconds remaining.
It was all Farmerville early as the Union Parish squad opened up a 13-2 lead five minutes into the contest.
Trailing 15-8 at the end of the first quarter, the Bulldogs closed within 26-21 on JaCarre Crockett's 3-pointer off the glass.
Keeping the pressure on, the Farmers stretched the lead to 34-23 at halftime on Xarius Larry's trey from the right corner.
Farmerville worked its lead up to 13 — the widest margin of the game — when Tyler Ward opened the second half scoring with a layup.
That's when Carroll began to make its move. By the end of the quarter, the Bulldogs had reduced the deficit to 46-43.
Carroll tied the game at 48 when Pratt swiped an inbounds pass for a layup.
Farmerville then rattled off six straight points on Elliott's short turnaround and a pair of Keon Morris layups.
Carroll kept coming, though. Josh Johnson drove the left baseline, bringing the Bulldogs within 54-53 with 4:13 to play.
Morris beat the Carroll press for a reverse layup, upping the Farmers' lead to 56-53, but James Donahue's 3-pointer on the Bulldogs' next possession squared the scoreboard at 56.
This time, the Farmers would have no answer.
Led by Pratt, the game's MVP, the Bulldogs placed five scorers in double figures. Pratt (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Devonta Johnson (11 points, 10 rebounds) both recorded double doubles. Crockett accounted for 14 points, Donahue came off the bench to pump in 11 points on 3-of-6 3-point shooting and Josh Johnson added 10 points and five steals.
Elliott was high scorer for the Farmers with 17 points, Dontario McNeal contributed 16, Patrick Smith registered 11 points and a dozen rebounds and Larry pitched in 10 points.
Notes: Carroll coach Jesse Burnette won his fourth state championship (three at Carroll, one at Delta). … Attendance for Thursday night's session, which included the Class 3A girls game between Rayville and Baker, was announced at 8,299. … District 2 swept the Class 3A state championship trophies as Rayville routed Baker 71-38. … Farmerville and Carroll, which finished second and third, respectively, behind Richwood in the District 2-3A standings, split the two regular season meetings, with the road team winning both games. Farmerville won a 52-51 nailbiter on Jan. 8, with the Bulldogs winning the return game 63-51 on Jan. 25. … Another former Delta coach will go for a ring Friday when Theodis Johnson's Dubach Lady Hornets play Saline in the Class C state championship game at high noon. The 4A champions will be crowned in Friday's second session. St. Thomas More and Salmen collide in the girls game at 6 p.m., with St. Thomas More and Northside taking the court in an all-Lafayette boys final at 8.