Special to The Advocate
Springfield’s Courtney Dantzler, center, is double-teamed by Southern Lab’s Kin Scott, left, and C.J. Burrell during the Grady Hornsby Classic boys basketball tournament at Denham Springs High School on Monday.
DENHAM SPRINGS — Springfield senior Kevin Henderson hit two free throws with 31 seconds remaining as Springfield rallied for a 52-51 victory over Southern Lab in the tightest game at the Grady Hornsby Classic on Monday.
Tara defeated Walker 62-54, Hammond ran past St. Amant 69-36 and East Ascension defeated Zachary 68-57 in other games.
Today’s action includes four games. Host Denham Springs plays Broadmoor in the 8 p.m. finale.
SPRINGFIELD 52, SOUTHERN LAB 51: Springfield (4-1) led 23-16 at halftime. Southern Lab (1-2) rallied to tie the game at 36-36 after three quarters. Kin Scott scored six of his 13 points and C.J. Burrell five of his 17 in the third quarter for the Kittens. Ezekiel Alsander, a 6-foot-6 junior, scored inside as Lab led 51-48 with 2:20 remaining. Springfield’s Jamarkus Lee, who had a game-high 20 points, hit two free throws with 2:10 remaining to cut the deficit to 51-50.
Southern Lab missed two field goals and Henderson grabbed the rebound and was fouled to set up the winning points. Henderson hit six of seven free throws in the game. Southern Lab missed two field goal tries in the final 10 seconds.
“Henderson is a clutch shooter for us,” said Springfield coach Mark Erdey. “We just got our guys from football. We were still a little sloppy, but this was our best win of the season. This team has potential. We’ve got some quickness and size, too.”
“We didn’t play Southern Lab basketball,” Kittens coach Lonnie Machen said. “Springfield is pretty solid. We were flat in the first half. I’m really disappointed in our effort. We’re still trying to jell and find the right team chemistry. We were very slow and predictable.”
HAMMOND 69, ST. AMANT 36: Hammond raced to a 41-17 halftime lead to gain some revenge against the Gators, who defeated Hammond in the first round of the playoffs last season. Hammond (2-0) returned its entire starting lineup, while St. Amant (0-4) has just one regular back in Steven Fulkerson, who scored a team-high 10 points.
“Hammond is very good and very athletic,” St. Amant coach Gary Duhe said. “He had 27 turnovers, and that didn’t help our cause. We’ve got to keep working to get better. This time of year, we’re more worried about our team than whom we’re playing. It’s a time to see what you have and what you need to work on. We’re staying positive.”
Kylan Douglas led Hammond with 16 points. Mikel Henry and Mark Bridgewater added 14 and 13 points, respectively. Junior guard Domonick McCoy added eight points, six assists and four steals.
“Our three guards are very good,” said Hammond first-year coach Brent Grigas. “I like this team. Playing St. Amant was extra incentive.”
Malik Beasley hit a 3-pointer for St. Amant as the Gators pulled within 27-17 at the midpoint of the second quarter.
The Tornadoes went on an 18-0 run that lasted until the first minute of the third quarter.
TARA 62, WALKER 54: Walker led 31-19 at halftime.
Joseph Kirk scored 21 of his game-high 24 points in the second half as Tara rallied. Kirk had 13 points in the fourth quarter, which Tara won by a 27-11 margin. Keith Broome added 22 points for the Trojans.
Brennon Severio scored 18 and Gabe Brewer 11 to pace the Wildcats.
EAST ASCENSION 68, ZACHARY 57: Keith Fleming led EA with 25 points, and the Spartans led 38-18 at halftime in the final game of the day.