By T. Scott Boatright
One game was over after a quarter while the other game wasn’t over until the final second as Cedar Creek’s boys and girls defeated Sterlington Thursday night in Ruston.
Carter Hill scored a game-high 28 points and Connor Johnson hit an acrobatic reverse layup with 6.2 seconds to play in the game to lift the Cougars to a 63-61 win over Class 3A Sterlington.
Creek trailed by as many as nine multiple times in the final quarter, but Hill made play after play and the Cougars forced multiple turnovers late to rally for their second win of the year in as many tries.
“Coming down from seven points in the fourth quarter — and not early in the fourth quarter, I still can’t believe it,” said Cougars coach Robert Mitcham. “We got some turnovers and were able to get to the foul line and made some big free throws. We can hardly score if we can’t get to the basket.
“We’re not a good shooting team right now. But Carter Hill played off the charts tonight and then it was a 5-7 sophomore — who finished it off with a circus shot underneath the basket against their 6-5 defender. It was unbelievable.”
The win moved the Cougars to 2-0 to start the season after they defeated Beekman Charter 64-46 at home on Tuesday.
Hayden McCluskey added 12 points, Davis Walsworth nine points and Connor Norris seven points in the win. Johnson scored five points, including the game-winner on a driving layup in the final seconds.
The girls game wasn’t nearly as exciting as Sarah Adams scored 18 points, Allie Furr added 12 points and Lizzie McAdams 11 points in a 57-31 win over Sterlington.
Creek grabbed a 21-3 lead after the first quarter and then coasted to the win to improve to 2-0 on the year.
Cedar Creek will host Quitman Tuesday with JV boys and girls and varsity boys and girls set to play.
The Ruston High School basketball teams opened their seasons on Tuesday with mixed results for the Bearcats.
Ruston’s boys team traveled west down Interstate 20 and came home with a 62-37 win over the Crimson Tide.
Jay Lillard led the way for Bearcats with 14 points while Jackson Pilgreen added 12 and Braylin McNeal chipped in with 10.
Despite the big win, RHS coach Ryan Bond still saw some things the Bearcats need to work on before playing at Saline tonight.
“We were only 11-of-29 from the free-throw line,” Bond said. “We’re not going to beat good teams very often shooting like that.”
The Lady Bearcats didn’t fare as well, falling 44-31 to Benton in the RHS gym. They’ll be looking for their first win of the season tonight at Haughton.
Lincoln Preparatory School’s basketball teams both fell in their season openers at Gibsland-Coleman.
The Panthers fell 70-43 at Gibsland Coleman while the Lady Panthers fell 40-6 on the girls side.
Both Lincoln Prep teams will next play at Richwood on Wednesday.
The defending state Class B boys state champions have started the 2021-22 season the way they ended last season — with nine straight wins.
Simsboro’s latest win came with an 80-23 home win over Castor.
Nick Maryland led the Tigers with 27 points, Kamillion Albritton added eight and Jordan Crawford and Brandon Williams chipped in with seven each.
The Tigers other wins over the past week came at Gibsland-Coleman (63-56), vs. Jehovah-Jireh (71-65), and at home against Zwolle (58-43).
“We’ve played a tough schedule and have beaten some really good teams,” said Tigers coach Josh Brown. “That Zwolle win was especially pleasing because I expect them to be a Top 4 team in our class. That’s a team we would potentially see deep in a playoff run.
“I’m proud of this team. We lost a lot of talent from last year and I’m proud of the way these guys have stepped into major roles after playing reserve roles last year. We’re adjusting and still have a lot of things we need to work on. But we’re getting better every game, and that’s all I can ask.”
The Tigers will take on Delhi in the Epps Tournament.
“Delhi’s big and athletic, so they’ll be a good test,” Brown said.
Simsboro’s girls team has gotten off to a 2-4 start, falling 85-48 at home to Zwolle in their last game on Tuesday.
The Choudrant boys have gotten off to a 3-2 start, with Tuesday’s 79-32 win over Epps being the 200th career coaching win for head Aggie Ryan Smith.
Choudrant’s girls stand at 5-2 with their latest win coming at home by the score of 50-22 over Epps on Tuesday.
Kylee Portilloz led the Lady Aggies in that victory with 17 points while Mattie Johnson added 12 and Brelyn Pyle chipped in with 10.
Both Choudrant teams will next play host to Downsville tonight.
Photo: Darrell James (dgjames.photoshelter.com)
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