Bastrop 34, Carroll 32
On a night in which points were scarce, Bastrop was able to grind out a 34-32 homecourt victory over Carroll in a defensive slugfest Monday night.
Although neither team shot the ball well, both teams competed fiercely on the defensive end.
“We missed a few shots and some free throws, but defensively we kept our composure,” said Bastrop coach Theabury Odom. “We really played well defensively. I thought that was the key down the stretch.”
Taking a bounce pass from Travon Washington, Lester Lee's bucket from the paint opened the fourth quarter scoring and put Bastrop (8-8) ahead to stay.
However, the outcome was in doubt until the waning seconds.
Alontae Alford's layup after Lee came up with a loose ball on the defensive end, put the Rams up 29-25.
Carroll's Anthony Ceasar and Bastrop's Quantavious Hawkins then exchanged 3-pointers, bringing the score to 32-28 near the four-minute mark.
Three possessions later, Ceasar and LeMicah Harris traded transition layups, giving Bastrop a 34-30 lead with 2:18 remaining.
Both teams were limited to one shot on their next possession, before Jared Brown drove a wide open lane to draw the Bulldogs within 34-32 at 1:14.
Following a Bastrop miss, the Bulldogs misfired on a potential game-tying shot. Alford went to the floor after the rebound, forcing a tie ball with the possession arrow favoring Bastrop with 11.7 ticks on the clock.
“I thought Alontae Alford played well,” Odom said. “He played all but about three minutes and exerted maximum effort. I thought his play in the paint against their big men made a big difference.”
With only two teams fouls, the Bulldogs were unable to force the Rams to go to the line until the final 2.6 seconds.
Bastrop missed its first free throw and Carroll called timeout with 2.1 seconds to go.
Lee then intercepted the inbounds pass at midcourt to preserve the Rams' second victory over Carroll in three meetings.
Predictably, the Bulldogs (2-11) have struggled against a tough schedule after losing 11 seniors from last year's Class 3A state championship team. Still, Odom was in no mood to complain about the hard-fought victory.
“How can you not be proud any time you can get a win over Carroll and a legendary coach like coach B (Jesse Burnette)?” Odom asked. “It's never an easy game when you play Carroll. I knew coach B would have then coached up. They've struggled some, but they're young and, like us, they have lost some close games.”
Carroll held an 11-9 edge at the end of the first quarter and matched its biggest lead, 13-9, on Michael Watson's rebound bucket.
Bastrop then held the Bulldogs scoreless over the next nine minutes.
Harris, who scored 13 of his game-high 15 points in the first half, sparked a 12-0 blitz with a 3-pointer from the right corner and a breakaway basket.
Lee then drilled a deep 2 from the right perimeter, Alford made the front end of a two-shot foul and Harris turned a steal into a layup to give the Rams a 19-13 halftime lead.
Mark Moore's 12-foot fadeaway gave Bastrop its biggest margin, 21-13, early in the second period.
Refusing to go away, the Bulldogs went on a 10-0 spree.
Ceasar hit a 15-footer, Watson connected off the spin move and nailed a left-handed jumper from the paint, Larry Owens made two-of-four free throws and Amari Davis crashed the offensive glass to give the visitors a 23-21 lead.
Bastrop soon regained the upper hand on a pair of Lee free throws and Washington's deuce from underneath, before Watson's basket from down low sent the game into the fourth quarter tied at 25.
Harris was the Rams' lone double figures scorer.
Watson paced Carroll with 14 points and Ceasar added 11.
Both teams return to action Thursday in the Don Redden Classic at Ouachita — Carroll vs. West Monroe at 4 p.m. and Bastrop vs. Ouachita at 6:30.
Carroll JV 23, Bastrop 23
Bastrop and Carroll played to a draw in the junior varsity tilt.
Carroll's Jamarion Kelly led all scorers with 12 points.
Bastrop received nine points from Quantavious Hawkins, six from Al Dowles, four from Mark Moore, two from Ken Thompson and one each from Alontae Alford and Travion Burks.