Ellender up-tempo play too much for East Jefferson in Sugar Bowl semifinals

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WESTWEGO – The Ellender Patriots came into the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic focused on the tasks of surviving and advancing.

The Patriots did just that Friday night with suffocating defense and out-running the East Jefferson Warriors for a convincing victory, 72-55.

Ellender (9-6) had a slow start while trying to cope with East Jefferson’s Jeffaire Landry, who led the Warriors with 14 points. The Warriors would manage to keep the ball game close in the first quarter.

“We knew we had contained their big man,” said Ellender head coach Cornell Scott. “East Jeff is much bigger than us in front court so I knew our guards had to defend the passing lane.”

Ellender began to generate turnovers and chances to run, forcing eight in the second quarter to take a 37-27 advantage into the half.

Patriots senior guard Ryan Williams, Jr. led all scorers with 17 points, including 3-of-4 shooting from behind the 3-point line.

Ellender’s fast-paced guard play negated East Jefferson’s bigger frontcourt and caused their big men to get into foul trouble.

“We got stop on defense and that led to us shooting the ball very well,” said Scott. “When our guards defend the basketball and are shooting the ball well, we are tough to defend.”

Ellender advances to face McGill-Toolen of Alabama in the Boys State bracket championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday. All four Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic bracket finals will air live at Crescent City Sports.

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