Amite- Ponchatoula’s Green Wave managed to survive to pull off a 48-46 road victory over Amite Tuesday night, but it will take more than they showed to impress their coach. The Green Wave (2-3) coughed up an 11-point first-half lead to fall behind twice in the fourth quarter but made just enough plays to squeeze past the Warriors (2-2) for the win.
“People say I have high expectations, but what’s the point of coaching if you don’t have high expecations?” said Green Wave coach Dustin Easley. “And they’re not meeting them even halfway.
“No disrespect to Coach Cox and Amite, but as far as me and what I expect of my guys, to me it just looked pathetic, I’m sorry.”
First-year Warriors coach Ron Cox is also struggling to find a good rhythm for his team.
“We’re playing hard, but we’re not playing smart at times,” Cox said. “We don’t have a whole lot of size, so rebounding is key. I’ve got to get them to the point where we’re playing four quarters.”
The rest of the week is given over to tournament action. In addition to the Livingston Parish Tournament at Maurepas, the Sumner Cowboy Classic gets under way in Tangipahoa. The boys’ first-round matchups on Wednesday have Jackson vs. Mt. Her-mon at 7 p.m. and Coving-ton vs. Amite at 8:30 p.m. The host Cowboys have a first-round bye and will play in the semifinals on Friday at 9 p.m. against the winner of Thurs-day’s 8:30 p.m. Independence-Kent-wood contest.
Ponchatoula’s boys are in the St. Amant Gold Dome Classic, where they will play Thursday at 7 p.m. against the winner of Wednesday’s St. Amant-Donaldsonville contest. The Hammond Tors are also in the St. Amant tournament.
Ponchatoula 48, Amite 46
The Green Wave was incontrol throughout the first half, focing six Amite turnoves to lead 16-9 after one period and by 27-16 in the second before Thomas Hart buried a triple just before halftime to get the Warriors to within 27-18 at the break. It was all different in the second half as Amite discovered some defense and disrupted the Ponchatoula offense, holding the Greenie scoreless for almost four minutes to open the second half and getting within 34-29 going into the fourth quarter.
“We work on playing hard-nosed defense,” Easley said. “But the offense has been a struggle and has been for a long time, and until we can figure something out, we’re going to be in trouble.”
Hart poured in 10 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter to push the Warriors to a 40-38 lead with 3:21 remaining, and the game saw four ties and two lead changes down the stretch. Hart’s layin tied it 44-44 with 1:48 to play, but John Brown dropped in a layup off a feed from Javeon Walker with 1:40 to play to put Ponchatoula ahead to stay.
Amite missed a 3-point shot and Ponchatoula got the rebound. Jonathan Lyons then collected ab offensive rebound and hit one of two free throws to make it 47-44 with 1:08 to go. Hart hit a bucket off a Wave turnover with 32 seconds left o mak eit a one-point game, and the Warriors had a chance to win after a blocked shot by Charles Davis wtih 14 seconds left, only to turn it over with five seconds remaining. Walker hit one of two free throws with four seconds left to cinch it.
“When you play solid defense and don’t gamble, just keep solid pressure, eventually they’re going to turn the ball over or take a bad shot,” Cox said. “It happened for us several times. But every time we gambled, they made us pay.”
Lyons led the Wave with 13 points while Walker, Byron Hart and Tim Shepard all scored eight points. In addition to Charles Hart’s 24, Wayne Johnson scored 12 and Todd Maybry six for the Warriors.
Courtesy of the Daily Star