Demons defeat Pearl River in district; Anders scores 26 points, hits 5 threes

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, February 3, 2016

PEARL RIVER — Franklinton’s Tray Anders followed up his 32-point performance against Lakeshore last Tuesday by scoring 26 points, including five 3-pointers, as the Demons defeated Pearl River 76-60 after falling behind early Friday night in a District 8-4A contest.

Host Pearl River jumped out to a 5-0 lead to begin the game as Chandler Moore hit for a 3-pointer on the first possession, after the Rebels won the tip.

A.J. Taylor, who finished with nine points, made it a 5-0 game at the 6:30 mark with two free throws.

“We had such a successful game against Lakeshore the other night (93-50 win last Tuesday), we were afraid this was going to carry over a little bit to tonight,” Franklinton coach Randall Ginn said. “Last year, we beat Pearl by 60 and 40 (89-25 and 91-42). Last year doesn’t mean anything. It’s a new year and we got our whole team back and they got their whole team back. You’ve just got a lot of improvement.”

Pearl River began district play with wins over Lakeshore and Loranger, 72-61 and 78-70. They lost to Salmen last Tuesday, 64-41, so Ginn said his team knew Pearl River was much improved and was going to defend its homecourt.

“We set goals along the way,” Ginn said. “We were trying to be up by 18 at halftime. We didn’t reach that. We had to do some consequences in the locker room at halftime. We had no halftime speech. We got back up in the third quarter by 18, 20 where we wanted it, but we never slammed our foot on it.

“But I was able to play a whole bunch of kids down the stretch in what I thought was a real sloppy game and give them actual game time instead of the last 30 seconds, so we were able to evaluate a couple of kids. But we weren’t real pleased with our execution tonight.”

After the tough start, Franklinton went on an 11-1 run.

Jadwynn Warren made a steal, passed to Anders, who hit the bucket, got fouled and converted the 3-point play.

Pearl River’s Dylan Soileau, who scored 22 points, including five 3-pointers, split from the free-throw line to make it 6-3.

Anders tied the contest with a 3-pointer from the right wing. Warren, who had four points, gave the Demons the lead with a layup.

A Pearl River turnover in the backcourt led to Anders hitting a 3-pointer from long range for an 11-6 lead with about 4:30 left in the first quarter.

But Soileau pulled Pearl River closer with a three.

Franklinton then scored 10 unanswered points and raced out to a 21-9 lead.

Soileau nailed a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining, but Franklinton still led 21-12 after one quarter.

The Demons opened up a 15-point lead in the second quarter. Smith opened the scoring with a free throw. Azende O. Magee, who finished with six points, made a steal and hit the layup. Anders did the same on the next possession and it was 26-12.

Moore stopped the run with a pair of free throws with 7:07 on the clock, but Darrius Dawson hit Resean Hart with a pass. Hart hit the shot and then connected on the free throw to make it a 15-point game with 6:56 to go in the first half.

The Demons maintained the 15-point cushion at 35-20, but Pearl River closed the half with an 8-2 run over the final 3:53. It was 37-28 at the halftime break.

Franklinton opened the second half scoring with Anders hitting a 3-pointer to make it 40-28.

From there, the lead was never below 10 points and was as high as 20, as the Demons went on for the 76-60 win.

Franklinton improved to 18-6 overall and 3-1 in district.

Peter Williams and Hart posted nine points each while Dawson finished with six. Azende T. Magee, Adrian Fox and Nick Burkhalter all had four and Zach Riley added two.

Pearl River’s Ladarius Wilford scored 15 points.

A.J. Dauth added four and Auston Lejuene scored two.