Fair Park Indians rolled into the quarterfinal with a 68-50 win over the DeRidder Dragons Tuesday night at Clem Henderson/Ron Preston Gym.
The Dragons kept it a close game until halftime. But a massive 18-5 third quarter helped Fair Park pull away for the victory.
LaTreavin Black took control for the Indians as he piled on 22 points for the victory Tuesday.
“It was fun,’’ Black said. “Our team was down. We weren’t making shots and weren’t playing real good defense. Our team was really in kind of a slump. We got our focus back. We got our momentum back. It was great.”
Larrie Richardson also chipped in 11 points for the Indians. DeRidder’s Dre Bagley scored 15 points for the Dragons. Deirico Smith added 11 for the Dragons.
Both teams stayed close throughout the first quarter.
Fair Park (28-7) started out with an early 6-2 lead. DeRidder called a timeout early in the game and regained its composure, eventually tying the score to 11. The last 3:30 of the first quarter, the Dragons took advantage of Fair Park fouls and turnovers as they went on a 12-2 run. DeRidder took a five-point lead into the second quarter with a 16-11 lead.
DeRidder (26-7) looked to continue its late first quarter run, but Black dunked at 6:47 and awakened the Indians offense. Fair Park caught DeRidder and tied the game behind an 11-2 run midway through the quarter. The two teams swapped leads back and forth again. A trey by Javis Perot followed by fast breaks from Black and D’iranique Holmes, sparking a new 9-2 run for the Indians to take a 32-27 halftime lead.
Though the lead was small, Fair Park coach Eddie Hamilton went to a spread offense and slowed the game down.
“We just try to spread a team out,’’ Hamilton said. “Hopefully they make a mistake and then we take advantage of it. Really, just playing the basics of basketball. Try to take advantage of the other team’s mistakes.”
Fair Park also pressed half court and stifled the Dragons and caused turnover after turnover with its defense. Fair Park shot 6 for 11 from the field and compiled an 18-5 total third point score to strengthen its lead and take a 50-32 lead into the fourth quarter.
DeRidder attempted a late comeback as it closed the lead to 12. The Dragons were 7-for-7 shooting at the beginning of the fourth. The problem was Fair Park were also making baskets along with the Dragons’ streak. Fair Park finally tamed the Dragons with a final 12-2 run to close out the game with 68-50.
Two district rivals will clash on Friday as the Indians will take on Woodlawn Friday night at Woodlawn.
“We split the season series,’’ Hamilton said. “Anything can happen once we get together.”