DENHAM SPRINGS - Scotlandville never gave Denham Springs a chance.
The Hornets kept up their relentless play of late against the Yellow Jackets, falling one-point shy of hitting the century mark en route to a 99-52 thumping in the regular season finale for both teams Friday.
Following a narrow 69-65 loss to Walker two weeks ago, Scotlandville (31-2, 5-1 District 4-5A) has dismantled its last four opponents by an average of 42 points per game, with all four victories by at least 33 points.
This game followed a similar formula.
Scotlandville led Denham Springs 26-12 after the first quarter, 48-25 at halftime and 77-37 after the third quarter before boosting that lead to as many as 51 points in the fourth. The Hornets shot 54 percent during the game (35-for-64), including a scorching 46 percent from deep (15-for-32).
Three players scored at least 20 points for the top-ranked Hornets — Carvell Teasett (24 points), Tai’reon Joseph (23 points) and Reece Beekman (21 points). Zaheem Jackson added 14 points, and Jonathan Horton chipped in 9 points, including a few rim-rattling dunks.
Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample admitted afterward his players haven’t forgotten the loss to the Wildcats on Jan. 29, which kept them from repeating as district champs. But the loss has also fueled his team’s strong play to close the regular season, he said, which bodes well for the postseason.
“The Walker game left a bad taste in everybody’s mouth,” Sample said. “We know we didn’t play our best ball, but we’ve bounced back. Now the regular season is over, and the third season is here. Now we need to regroup and take it one game at a time.”
For the No. 21 Yellow Jackets (18-16, 3-3), Friday’s loss — their worst since a 55-point defeat in 2012, also against Scotlandville — all but assured they’ll start the postseason on the road.
Denham Springs shot 33 percent (18-for-54) against the Hornets, missed all 14 of its 3-point attempts (including all 10 in the first half) and went 16-for-25 (64 percent) from the charity stripe.
Forward Xavier Miles had a big night scoring with 21 points, but he was the only DSHS player to reach double figures. Kaleb Drummer tallied 9 points.
DSHS coach Kevin Caballero credited his players for playing until the final whistle while also lamenting their rough start — a 24-6 deficit a little more than halfway through the first quarter.
“That’s something that just can’t happen against “an excellent team” such as Scotlandville,” Caballero said. “When you get off to a bad start against a team like that, you dig yourself in a hole you can’t ever dig out of. I wanted them to compete, and I thought they did, but we had to play as well as we’ve played all year to play with them, and we didn’t play very well at all.”
“But we’ll regroup,” Caballero added. “We’re not gonna beat ourselves up over it. We’re still going to the playoffs. We’ll see who we draw, and then we’ll put a game plan in and hope these guys bounce back. They’ve done it before this year, so we’ll see how they do after tonight.”