By LaMar Gafford, High School/College Sports Reporter, The Town Talk
Special to the Times
With the District 2-5A title out of reach for Natchitoches Central and Alexandria Senior High, Friday was merely about finishing well before the start of the playoffs next week.
Closing the game on a 23-9 run in the final 11 minutes, the Chiefs cruised to a 62-41 victory over the Trojans and secured a home playoff spot in the process.
“I thought we showed incredible fight, especially in the second half,” NCHS coach Micah Coleman said. “One of things that coach (Kolton Sepulvado) challenged them to do at halftime was come out and extend that type of pressure. We did a really good job of continuing pressure in the second half and that how it works. It doesn’t get you early, but sometimes it will get you late.”
While Coleman battled a migraine and let his assistants Sepulvado, Darius Burton and Kaleb Uselton handle most of the coaching duties, the Chiefs executed well — scoring the final nine points of the third quarter to give it some breathing room.
As he has done all season, C.J. Carpenter led the charge in the third with 11 of his 23 points coming in the stanza.
“He got a lot at the line in the second half,” Coleman said. “We missed a few in the first half, but we have to be able to go the line and get rewarded for it.”
ASH (21-13, 2-8 District 2-5A) was shorthanded without Dez McQuain or Latrell Holly, but willed its way through despite not having a player score in double figures.
Jeremy Johnson and Walter Green combined to score 13 of the Trojans’ points and while it was not enough, Coleman showed a lot of respect for the opponent.
“I don’t know if we’ve played anybody that plays harder than Alexandria Senior High,” Coleman said. “They do a great job with that.”
NCHS (20-11, 7-3) was sitting at No. 11 in Louisiana Sportsline’s projected power rankings on Saturday, while ASH is at No. 28.
The brackets will officially be revealed on Monday afternoon.