Scotlandville experience, talent too much for St. Paul’s in Division I boys basketball title game
LAKE CHARLES – The Scotlandville Hornets have been there, done that, when it comes to playing for state championships. St. Paul’s had never been there before.
Both the experience and lack of experience on the big stage was on full display at Burton Coliseum Saturday evening.
The top-seeded Hornets forced 20 turnovers and overmatched the second-seeded Wolves 63-40 to repeat as Division I state champions.
Reece Beekman was terrific on both ends of the floor.
The sophomore scored 20 points and helped hold St. Paul’s senior and top scorer Parker Edwards to 10 points, eight of which came in the second half after the outcome was clearly not in doubt. Edwards scored over 2,000 points in his illustrious career and scored 34 points in a semifinal victory over Catholic of Baton Rouge. It was not to be on this night.
Beekman, who added four rebounds, was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player.
“I just followed him everywhere and made sure he didn’t touch the ball,” Beekman said. “I just kept on him. I took on the challenge.”
In the final game of his illustrious prep career, LSU signee Ja’Vonte Smart did his part as well, scoring 22 points, pulling down six rebounds and dishing out three assists. Smart finished his brilliant career with 3,307 points.
“He (Beekman) got MVP, I’m so happy for him,” Smart said. “Defense is a big part of the game. We couldn’t let him (Edwards) shoot 3’s, and Reece picked him up. Every time he got the ball and went to the goal nobody could stay in front of him.”
Scotlandville (30-5) took control from the start, jumping out to a 15-4 lead after one quarter. After St. Paul’s scored the first basket of the game, the Hornets went on a 9-0 run and closed the quarter on a 6-0 run as the Hornets forced nine turnovers by St. Paul’s. The 2-0 edge was the only lead of the game for the Wolves.
Beekman scored nine points in the second quarter and finished the half with 16 points while Smart had 10. St. Paul’s committed 14 turnovers in the half and finished with 21 in the game.
The Hornets continued their dominance in the third quarter, going on a 7-0 run and expanding the lead to 43-21 by the end of the period. David Thomas, III had a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter. Both teams went to the bench in the final quarter, with the outcome decided.
Edwards led St. Paul’s (29-7) with 10 points, three rebounds and two assists while Bill Leahy had eight. Edwards came in averaging 22 points per game. Devonte Allen, who came in averaging 17 points per game, was shutout through three quarters and finished with six points. Thomas, III finished with eight points for the Hornets.
St. Paul’s head coach Stephen Dale was philosophical about the defeat while praising his team.
“They played a great game,” said St Paul’s coach Stephen Dale of Scotlandville. “They did a great job defensively of getting us out off what we wanted to do. St Paul’s has been opened 106 years, and no team has played in this game. These guys will be legendary the rest of their lives.”
The state championship is the fifth in seven years for Scotlandville, which has played in the title game for the ninth consecutive year.
“We just wanted to face guard him (Edwards) and take him out of the game was much as possible,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said. “I think that was probably the best defensive effort we’ve displayed all year.”
SHMS 15 15 13 20 — 63
SPS 4 12 5 19 — 40
SMHS—Ja’Vonte Smart 22, Reece Beekman 20, David Thomas, III 8, Trelvis Griffin 6, Da’Vyon Smart 3, Jonathan Horton 2, Trevon Smith 2
SPS—Parker Edwards 10, Bill Leahy 8, Devonte Allen 6, Chandler Owenby 6, Colin Quinlan 4, Jace Moore 3, Isiah Thomas 3,
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…