BATON ROUGE – It took Scotlandville High nearly the entire first half to find its offensive rhythm, but once it did there was no holding the Hornets back Tuesday night at Catholic High’s Thanksgiving Shootout.
The Hornets (2-0), last season’s Division I state champion, closed the second quarter with a 9-0 run to erase a five-point deficit, and take the lead for good and post a 58-52 win over the Bears.
Catholic (3-1), which returns most of a squad that lost in the Division I semifinals, got as close as 49-48 in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get over the hump.
“It’s early, and we have a young team,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said. “We have individuals that have new roles and (a slow start) is expected, especially against a veteran team like Catholic.”
Catholic led 26-21 with two minutes left in the first half after a driving basket by Kentrell Garnett, who scored 17 for the Bears. Catholic also got 17 from Collin Holloway, but it wasn’t enough to keep Scotlandville from heating up behind the arc in the final minute of the half.
Reece Beekman’s 3-pointer from the top of the key pulled Scotlandville within two points. Carvell Teasett added one from the right corner to give the Hornets the lead. Tai’reon Joseph put the Hornets on top 30-26 at halftime lead with a 3-pointer from the left corner.
Beekman led all scorers with 24 points. Joseph made three 3-pointers and had 18 while Teasett finished with 10.
Midway through the third quarter, Beekman’s driving basket had Scotlandville ahead 44-33, its largest lead of the game. The Bears made 5 of 6 free throws to pull within 46-40 heading to the fourth quarter.
Catholic trailed 49-43, but Garnett’s 3-pointer and a basket by Judice had the Bears within one point. After Zaheem Jackson made one of two free throws, Catholic had a chance to tie the game.
The Bears turned the ball over with an errant pass, and Scotlandville began working the clock. The Hornets went 8-of-8 at the free throw line in the final minute.
“I think they showed some character out there playing hard for 32 minutes in a gym where Catholic normally wins,” Sample said. “It’s a good test for these guys and we’ve got a lot more coming up. Championship trophies are not given out in November. We just have to keep grinding and get better because I have a feeling we may see (Catholic) again.”
Scotlandville made just 2-of-14 shots in the first quarter but trailed only 16-10. They combined to make 16 of their next 24 in the second and third quarters and led 46-40 entering the fourth quarter.
The Hornets finished the game at 35 percent (17 of 48). Catholic connected on 16 of 35 shots (46 percent).
Beekman, who was named the most valuable player in Scotlandville’s 63-40 Division I championship game win over St. Paul’s, is one of only two returning starters for the Hornets. The other, David Thomas, left Tuesday’s game in the third quarter and didn’t return after taking a shot to the head.
Of the newer players who saw action, Tai’reon Joseph saw limited action last season. The rest -Teasett, Jackson, Morantz James and Jonathan Horton – are all seeing their first varsity action.
“All their roles are different,” Sample said. “We’re young, but that’s not an excuse. Young, old, whatever, we’ve got to get better to be on a championship level and we’re not there yet.”
Scotlandville 58, Catholic 52
Score By Quarters
Scotlandville 10 20 16 12 - 58
Catholic 16 10 14 12 - 52
Team scoring: Scotlandville - Reece Beekman 24, Tai’reon Joseph 18, Carvell Teasett 10, Morantz James 2, Jonathan Horton 2, Zaheem Jackson 1, David Thomas 1.
Catholic: Kentrell Garnett 17, Collin Holloway 17, London Scott 6, Nick Judice 6, Chandler Row 2, Connor Shamlin 2, Ian Cavana 2.
3-pointers: Scotlandville 6 (Joseph 3, Teasett 2, Beekman). Catholic 4 (Garnett 3, Scott).
Records: Scotlandville 2-0. Catholic 3-1.