A pair of predominately young teams coming off Tuesday night road trips found the scoring tough on Wednesday night in the opening round of the 76th annual Bossier High School Invitational Tournament.
Mansfield had a little more fire in the tube, holding off a late charge by Northwood to win 44-36 and advance to a second-round contest against host Bossier on Thursday at 7 p.m.
“We’re a young team, and we made some mistakes, but we have to keep getting better,” said Mansfield coach Jimmie Davis, whose club traveled to Shreveport Tuesday night to play Fair Park. “Northwood did a great job, but I’m proud our guys could hold them off in the end. We have to play every game 100 percent.”
Northwood (3-10) converted just one field goal in the second quarter and that came from Camaran Bolden with under 2 minutes remaining. Part of the lack of Falcon scoring was due to youth and part was due to a long road trip to Springhill Tuesday for a draining 51-49 win against North Webster.
“We were sluggish tonight for the first three quarters, although we played more inspired in the fourth,” Northwood coach Ronnie Howell said. “We’ve struggled to score all year and getting in late last night didn’t help. My guys play hard. They are just inexperienced.”
The Wolverines (9-7) jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the opening minutes after a 3-pointer from Lakendrick Ross. But the Falcons took a 10-9 lead with 25 seconds left in the frame on a pair of free throws by Zurdre Adams. That was their only lead in the contest however.
Mansfield built a 25-15 halftime lead and had its largest lead at 32-19 midway through the third quarter. The Falcons did get within 42-36 with about 2 minutes to play and had the ball three times with chances to cut the deficit further, but couldn’t convert. Northwood cashed in just 8-of-19 free throws and missed all five in the fourth quarter.
Mansfield was led by Nijul Canada with 11 points and Lakendrick Ross with 10, while Jamichael Bryant topped the Falcons with 9.
Ruston 69, BTW 25: At Bossier, the Bearcats had 13 players score in the rout of the Lions in the tournament opener. Trame Hargrove with 12 points was Ruston’s only double digit scorer. Xavien Beasley was BTW’s leader with 13 points as the Lions scored just 4 points in each of the first two quarters.
New Living Word 78, Huntington 71 2OTs: At Bossier, it took a pair of overtimes and three double-digit scorers but New Living Word won in the opening round of the tournament.
Rasmaan Proctor led the Lions with 20 points, while Justin Onwuzulike added 19 and Fred Evans 13. Tahji Davis poured in 18, Larry Moton 14 and Tra’Michael Moton 11 for the Raiders.