BATON ROUGE -- After three quarters of see-sawing back-and-forth, Live Oak guards Vince Bayonne and DaDa Capling apparently had enough.
They combined to score 12 of their team’s 15 fourth-quarter points, enabling the Eagles to pull away from District 4-5A foe Central for a 59-47 victory Monday in Woodlawn High’s Basketball Summer League.
“Eventually we had to realize what coach was saying,” Bayonne said. “That was to slow down and play Live Oak basketball instead of running with them. Once we started doing what coach was asking we played better.”
The two teams ran the gamut through the game’s first 18 minutes of play.
Live Oak, on the strength of six 3-pointers, opened as much as an 11-point lead (24-13) midway through the second quarter.
Central responded with a 10-1 run that enabled the Wildcats to trail only 27-23 at halftime after Byron Donahue’s inside basket for the Eagles.
“The effort was good and bad at times and you kind of get that when you play a lot of guys,” Live Oak coach John Capps said. “We won and I thought Central played really hard. They’re very improved compared to where they were last year. We’ll take it, but we’ve got a lot of things we need to work on.”
Central took its only lead -- 33-31 -- at the 4:28 mark of the third quarter on a 3-pointer from Tyler Sherman, who finished with 7 points.
The Wildcats later tied the score at 37-all with 2:45 left in the quarter when guard Destin Franklin, who had a team-high 17 points, picked up an offensive rebound and scored from the lane.
“We told them before the game we weren’t looking at the scoreboard,” Central coach Brian Hargroder said. “We’ll just take it one possession at a time, try and win each possession and we won way more possessions than we did last week.”
Live Oak led 44-40 going into the final quarter on a fastbreak lay-up from Lawrence Pierre.
Bayonne scored his team’s next four points before Franklin added his second 3-pointer with 3:37 to play, cutting Live Oak’s lead to 48-43.
The Eagles outscored the Wildcats 9-4 over the remainder of the game, often defeating full-court pressure, with Capling feeding Halen Cox for a 3-pointer and Bayonne adding 6 of his 15 points -- capped by a slam dunk with 22 seconds left.
Live Oak shot 65% percent (11 of 17) in the second half, wound up at a 54% clip (21 of 39) overall and only turned the ball over 4 times.
“With our guards we should be hard to press, we’ve got enough good ball handlers,” Capps said. “A lot of times we’re five guards and forwards on the floor so the pressure shouldn’t bother us as much. I figured if they pressured we should be able to handle it.”
Capling knocked down the first of Live Oak’s 6 3-pointers in the opening half for a 15-11 lead with Pierre closing out the quarter with a trifecta at the buzzer.
Central made 6 of 7 shots in the second quarter and shot 67% in the opening half to erase Live Oak’s biggest lead of 11 points.
Nah’Landry Stinson ignited the Wildcats’ 10-1 spurt with a 12-foot pull-up jumper and combined with Franklin on eight points during that stretch.
“I’m really proud of the way we played, we’re improving every week,” Hargroder said. “We’re better than we were last week and hopefully keep getting better.”
Said Capps: “I’m happy it’s a summer league win, which is better than a loss. I’m not coming out of this super pleased with how we played. We need to be better. That’s not our best.”