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Prep basketball roundups: Louisiana teams eliminated

JONESVILLE — Despite winning 20 games during the regular season, the Varnado Wildcats had to go on the road in the bi-district round of the LHSAA Class 1A playoffs.

It didn’t really matter, however, as senior guard Javautae Bell finished with a game-high 25 points and junior guard Laterrius Crumedy added 11 points as 18th-seeded Varnado defeated the 15th-seeded Block Bears 65-54 Friday night.

“We just didn’t execute tonight. We had our opportunities that we couldn’t take advantage of,” Block head coach K.G. Watkins said.

Block, which finished in second place in District 3-1A, got off to a tough start from both the field and the free-throw line. The Bears eventually got back in the game and trailed by just three points at the end of the third quarter. Yet the Wildcats ended the comeback attempt by outscoring Block 19-12 in the fourth quarter.

Watkins said the difference in the game was a lack of focus and intensity by his team on the defensive end during the first two quarters as well as those missed opportunities.

“Our defense broke down too many times. It was poor defensive effort, especially in the first half. We played better in the second half. We just came out and were very cold shooting. We were very cold at the free-throw line.”

And those defensive breakdowns allowed Bell to get to the line several times during the game as he scored 12 of his 25 points on free throws.

Varnado (21-7) ended up taking a 19-9 lead over Block at the end of the first quarter. And while the Wildcats put up 17 points in the second quarter, the Bears did even better with 19 points to trail by eight at halftime.

It appeared that Block (13-11) was on the verge of a huge come-from-behind win on its home court after outscoring Varnado 14-9 in the third quarter to cut the Wildcats’ down even more and trail 45-42.

But the Wildcats were too much for Block in the fourth quarter as they pulled away for the 10-point win.

Ken Colbert led Block with 16 points while Preston Bowman scored 14 points and Monte Washington had 12 points. Tyler Nichols chipped in with 10 points for Varnado.

Negreet 52, Monterey 38

NEGREET, La. — Negreet’s defense held Monterey’s two best players, Josh Chapman and Jacob Evans, well under their season average as the 14th-seeded Indians defeated the 19th-seeded Wolves Friday night in the bi-district round of the LHSAA Class B playoffs.

Negreet used a triangle-and-2 defense and at times had two players on Chapman to make it tough for him to pass the ball and someone chasing Evans, who is Monterey’s best outside shooter. Chapman was held to seven points and Evans managed just six points.

“And that left the other three guys open and we couldn’t make any shots. We weren’t able to make enough shots from the perimeter to get them to make some adjustments,” Monterey head coach Eric Richard said.

The Indians had an 11-9 lead after one quarter of play before really taking advantage of the Wolves’ shooting woes in the second quarter. Monterey (17-12) scored just seven points in that quarter while Negreet had 16 points to take a 27-16 lead into halftime.

The second half was more competitive, but the 11-point halftime deficit was too much for Monterey to overcome.

“We played good defense. We played as hard and as physical as we have all season. I can’t ask for anything more effort-wise. Our kids played hard. It wasn’t for lack of effort,” Richard said. “They just made a few more baskets than we did.

Mike Turner led Negreet (16-16) with a game-high 16 points and Donald Gasaway added 13 points. Monterey was led by Cole Fancher with 11 points while Nick Blake had eight points.

Redemptorist 79, Vidalia 49

BATON ROUGE — There will be a new boys’ state basketball champion in LHSAA Class 3A as the Vidalia Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs Friday night by the Redemptorist Wolves in a bi-district round game.

Vidalia, the No. 22 seed despite finishing in first place in District 3-3A, essentially lost the game in the second quarter when it scored just four points and trailed 40-19 at the half. The Vikings never were able to recover from that in the second half.

“We started out pretty well with our game plan of going inside. Than we stopped doing that,” Vidalia head coach Robert Sanders said. As for why the Vikings went cold in the second quarter, he said, “They played their man defense that we knew they would. We just weren’t patient enough to exploit it or to find the open shots.”

Another factor in the game was the performance of Redemptorist’s Gerraugan McGehee, who led all scorers with 28 points.

“We couldn’t rebound. We couldn’t defend,” Sanders said.

Daryl Polk led Vidalia (15-12) with 17 points, but he was the only Vikings player to score in double figures.

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