Sophie B. Wright holds off furious challenge to edge Scotlandville

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WESTWEGO – It was a game for the ages, at least for the season.

Talented Sophie B. Wright has proven it can play with the better teams in the state. Thursday night, the Warriors proved they can play with and beat perhaps the best team in the state.

The Warriors built a big lead and then fought off a furious rally by defending Division I state champion Scotlandville, handing the Hornets their first loss in an 80-77 thriller in the quarterfinals of the Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic at the Alario Center Thursday night.

Morantz James hit what appeared to be a potential game-winning 3-pointer with two seconds left for Scotlandville but the shot was disallowed for an offensive foul call on Reece Beekman, who made the pass to James.

Scotlandville (20-1) then immediately fouled Damiree Burns, who hit both free throws. A desperation full court shot at the buzzer fell short by the Hornets and the Warriors had their most significant victory in program history for coach Jason Bertrand.

“The kids had to find a way to win,” Bertrand said. “I thought our guard play was excellent. It was a matter who got the ball last and we knew it was going to come down to that. They are one of the top five teams in the country, not just in our state. We’ve got a lot of respect for them and we kept preaching in the huddle that they are not going away. We figured they would make a run. They made a run. What I was proud of is that our senior punched back. They punched us, we punched them.”

The Warriors never trailed in the first half. Scotlandville tied the Warriors 2-2 but Sophie B. Wright controlled play for the remainder of the first half. The Warriors led 19-11 after one quarter and expanded the lead to 15 in the second quarter before settling for a 40-28 lead by halftime.

Damiree Burns had 12 points to lead the Warriors in the half while Charlie Russell, Jr. had 11 while Tai’Reon Joseph had 12 for the Hornets.

The Hornets began their comeback in the third quarter, pulling within 54-50 going to the final stanza.

The final quarter saw a frenzied pace and in the final three minutes, there were eight lead changes.

Burns led the Warriors (19-3) with 27 points, 10 rebounds and four assists while Russell, Jr. finished with 18. Dandrick Green added 13 and Gregory Hammond, Jr. finished with 10 points.

Carvell Teasett led Scotlandville (20-1) with 27 points, Beekman had 22 with seven assists and Tai’Reon Joseph had 21 points and seven rebounds.

“Up until this point, this may be our best win if for other reason that I’m a humble guy and my kids our humble and we respect who we play. Coach (Carlos) Sample is one of the best coaches in the country. Some of the teams and coaches and teams they have in this tournament are absolutely amazing. To have a chance to be on the court with them is a blessing and to come away with a win is special. We’re trying to take the next step. We needed a signature win in the state for our kids to see that maybe we can play on this level and we got it.”

Sophie B. Wright advances to take on Dunham in the semifinals Friday at 7 pm. The Tigers defeated Country Day 71-53.

Final
Scotlandville 11 17 16 27 77
Sophie B. Wright 19 21 20 20 80

Scoring
Sophie B. Wright
Damiree Burns 27, Charlie Russell, Jr. 18, Dandrick Green 13, Gregory Hammond, Jr. 10, Scorey Holmes 9, Jerome Anthony 3

Scotlandville
Carvell Teasett 27, Reece Beekman 22, Tai’Reon Joseph 21, Jonathan Horton 4, Morantz James 3

Rebounds
Sophie B. Wright 25, Scotlandville 25

Turnovers
Sophie B. Wright 13, Scotlandville 9

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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…

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