No. 25 Tigers booted in second round, lose 83-61 to no. 9 Port Allen

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley
Donaldsonville senior forward Jaquel Gant scored 17 points in the the Tigers loss to Port Allen last week.

The no. 25 Donaldsonville High Tigers (21-9, 6-2) were eliminated from the second round of the LHSAA 3A playoffs after a 83-61 loss to the no. 9 Port Allen Pelicans last week. It was a game of early offense and a lot of muscle in a packed DHS Gym.

Both teams got out to fast starts, however it was the Tigers weren’t able to maintain composure after a strong second quarter effort by the Pelicans kept the Tigers submissive.

At the end of the first quarter, Port Allen led 23-17 and never looked back. In the second quarter, intensity built as emotions rose with Port Allen’s senior forward Ishmael Lane muscling through for two put-back dunks.

But it was the shooting of Port Allen’s Telson Allen that would be the bird that flew highest. Allen nailed multiple three-pointers in the second quarter, and would eventually lead a game-high of 27 points. At the half, Port Allen led the Tigers 41-26 in a sold out DHS Gym that turned fans away by halftime due to capacity.

First-year Donaldsonville head coach Lionel Gilbert agreed the Tigers lost control of the game in the second quarter.

“We went into a drought and against a team like this you can’t have a scoring drought. You have to be able to put the ball in the hole,” Gilbert said.

Early on it was senior forward Jaquel Gant who kept the Tigers in reach with 11 of his game total 17 points in the first half. However it was junior guard Braxton Bernard who fought to rally a struggling Tigers’ offense as he led the team with 19 points.

Port Allen head coach Brandon Ricard said it was a big effort for the Pelicans to come into a packed house and walk away with a 22-point win.

“The gym was packed at 6 o’clock and there were no places to sit on the bench and it’s the type of atmosphere you live for and if you don’t like this you don’t need to play the game,” Ricard said. “But to come in here, keep the composure and play our game. I love it.”

Ricard said the physical play the Pelicans showed in the second quarter is their identity.

“The officials were letting us play a little bit down low and I have one of the best big men in the state with Ishmael (Lane) and we just used him down low and nobody could matchup with him,” Ricard said, in his sixth season as the Port Allen head coach.