Ponchatoula downs New Iberia to secure school’s first boys basketball state championship
LAKE CHARLES – Ponchatoula had high expectations going into the 2022-2023 Basketball season. During a rough start to the season at 0-3, New Iberia paid a visit to Ponchatoula getting a 66-55 victory.
The Green Wave had a chance to get payback on the biggest stageSaturday night.
Ponchatoula had a huge second half to win the Division I Non-Select State Championship game, 63-48 victory, over NISH at the Burton Complex.
Ponchatoula (29-7) enjoyeda fast startto lead 8-2 with a pair of layups by Allen Graves. New Iberia (30-4) bounced back quickly with a 9-0 run featuring a pair of Wayne Randall baskets. Kylan Dugas scored a driving layup and converted the three-point play giving New Iberia an 11-10 lead but the Yellow Jackets trailed the rest of the game.
The Green Wave started the second quarter on a 7-0 run with Graves and Cameron Collier scoring in the lane before Chaleb Desselle-Seaberry knocked down a three-pointer to lift Ponchatoula to the lead, 17-11. Ponchatoula grew their advantage to 26-15 with a flurry of three-pointers by Graves, Demarion Milton and Trey Parham.
New Iberia replied with layups by Randall and Devin Frank and then Christian Walker’s three-point jumper but Ponchatoula went into the locker room up 28-22 at the half.
Focused to start the third quarter, Ponchatoula started the second half on a 7-0 run to make it 35-22 and led 42-33 going to the final period.
The Green Wave put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter with Parham and Taj Jackson taking charge. Jackson scored four points while Parham notched five to extend the Green Wave lead to 18.
“It feels great to represent our area and bring home the state title to our town,” said Graves. “Our town has really supported us tonight. We feed off the energy of our fans and they brought a lot of energy today. It feels great that we won the game for them.”
Ponchatoula had two players scoring in double figures. Graves was the Most Outstanding Player of the game with 23 points, 16 rebounds, five blocks, and three assists. Parham finished with 16 points.
“I had teams that you love but they are like your children, you love them a little different. These guys showed me what it is to be part of a unit. You got each other’s back through thick and thin,” said Ponchatoula Head Coach Thomas Taylor. “We don’t fear teams. If you want to be the best you got to beat the best.”
New Iberia had two players scoring in double figures. Randall led the Yellow Jackets with 18 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Dugas added 16 points and four rebounds.
“My credit goes to Ponchatoula. They are an outstanding basketball team,” said New Iberia Head Coach Chad Pourciau. “We had an outstanding year and we have nothing to be ashamed of. It was #12 (Parham) that killed us and he deserved the MVP. Graves is an outstanding player but 12 was the difference.”
— LHSAA (@LHSAAsports) March 12, 2023
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