Bulldogs end losing streak with first district win

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Jacoby Steward goes for a layup in a 21-point effort against East Iberville. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

A dubious losing streak finally came to an end for Ascension Catholic last Friday night as they feasted on East Iberville turnovers and turned them into easy transition points in an impressive 74-56 home win.

The Bulldogs' opportunistic defense allowed them to get up and down the court all night. As a result, four players scored at least 12 points.

"I thought that we were very active on defense," first-year Ascension Catholic head coach Kylon Green said. "We had active hands, our quickness really helped us and it was able to turn into offense for us."

After dropping eight straight games, the Bulldogs were hungry for a victory. Their desperation showed early in their home district clash with East Iberville.

Kebori Hunter got off to a phenomenal start. He scored Ascension Catholic's first 8 points. One of his baskets came after DC Mattingly came through with a steal and then dished out a pretty behind-the-back pass to Hunter for the layup.

After creating a turnover on seemingly every early Tiger possession, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead to start the game.

East Iberville was finally able to trim into the lead with an 8-0 run after Ascension Catholic started to get sloppy with the ball. The Bulldogs led 19-10 at the end of one with a Jacoby Stewart jumper in the final seconds.

The tempo continued to be frenetic in the second quarter with each team running up and down the court. With Ascension Catholic going cold from the field, the Tigers were able to chew away at the deficit and get within 3.

However, the Bulldogs responded with a quick 7-0 run and regained a 9-point lead with a steal and layup by Javon Yarbrough.

The Tigers came right back with an 8-4 run to end the half. Ascension Catholic led, 33-28, at the break.

The Bulldogs started the second half just as they did the first. Their defense created three quick turnovers that turned into three buckets and an 11-point lead. A 14-3 run helped Ascension Catholic take control of the game.

They ended the third period with a Hunter steal that led to a layup by Kaleb Winchester. It concluded a 27-point quarter for the Bulldogs as they took a 60-44 advantage into the fourth.

East Iberville was able to cut the lead down to 12 early on, but Ascension Catholic responded with a transition layup by Hunter to push the advantage back to 14. From there, the Bulldogs were able to cruise.

Stewart led the way for Ascension Catholic with 21. Winchester had 17, followed by Hunter with 16 and Yarbrough finished with 12.

Coach Green said that his team's performance against the Tigers was a blueprint of how they will have to win the remainder of their games.

"That's what we're going to have to be throughout the course of the season," Green said. "We're going to have to be that transition team. We're going to have to get up, defend, turn the ball over and get those fast-break points. We don't have the size to get the ball down to the post, so we're going to have to keep the court spread out and get those easy buckets."

The win was the first for the Bulldogs since Dec. 19. Though they struggled against a brutal non-district schedule that pinned them against many bigger schools, the Bulldogs are now eyeing a 1-1 start in league play.

"We had a tough stretch of losses, but it feels good to get off of that schneid and try to develop a win streak," Green said. "Hopefully, we can get a win streak going that is as long as our losing streak, turn our season around and right this ship."