Mt. Hermon advances in postseason

Published 1:14 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Mt Hermon jumped out to a big lead in the first half and never looked back in a 69-52 victory over Lacassine in the bi-district round of the Class B state playoffs at home Friday.
Lacassine scored the first bucket of the game when Nelson Freeman hit for three 1:10 into the ballgame. Freeman tallied a game-high 23 points.
Mt. Hermon got on the board when Device Taylor drove to the bucket and dished it off to Za’byeaus Holmes for the layup 15 seconds later that began an 8-0 run.
The Yellow Jackets took their first lead on Jordan Smith’s 3-pointer to make it 5-3. Mt. Hermon never trailed again.
Steals by Smith and Holmes accounted for the next three points. Smith’s steal was in the backcourt and he converted the layup. Holmes passed to George Smith, who was fouled in the act of shooting and split his free throws to give his team an 8-3 lead.
Lacassine posted the next four. Freeman hit two free throws and collected an assist on a pass to Ken Fisher to close the gap to one at the 3:35 mark.
Mt. Hermon led 12-9 after the first quarter.
The Yellow Jackets opened the second quarter by going on a 16-3 run to up 16.
Jordan Smith hit a 3-pointer on the period’s first possession to make it a six-point game. It was the first of five second-quarter threes for Mt. Hermon.
Lacassine’s Treyc Kibodeaux split from the charity stripe for a 15-10 game.
George Smith made it a seven-point game with a steal and layup. Ike Tate pushed the lead to 20-10 with a 3-pointer, but Lacassine’s Jacobie Doffoney answered quickly with a field goal.
Taylor hit a layup before Tate and Jordan Smith capped the run with each hitting for three. Mt. Hermon led 28-12 with 4:22 left in the first half and 34-18 at the break.
Lacassine opened the second half with the initial five points.
Freeman hit a pair of technical foul free throws to begin the third and hit for two more. Kobe Miller split from the line and the lead was down to 11.
Mt. Hermon responded with four unanswered on buckets by George Smith and Tevin Williams and the lead was back to 15.
That was the theme of the second half. Lacassine would make a run to bring the game closer and then Mt. Hermon would respond by extending the lead. Mt. Hermon led by at least nine throughout the second half. It was 52-39 after the third quarter. The lead getting down to nine occurred at the 4:59 mark of the fourth period at 57-48, but a 6-0 run put it back to 15.
“We were able to stop them on defense,” said Taylor, who led the Yellow Jackets with 19 points that included a pair of 3-pointers. “They had a good defense, but we were able to make passes, dribble and pass it out to our shooters and they were able to knock down shots.”
Mt. Hermon coach B. Alford talked about the win.
“We made silly mistakes. We made big plays when we had to. We had good stops when we had to,” Alford said. “It certainly was not one of our better games this year, but the kids wanted it and they fought through mistakes. We didn’t hit free throws down the stretch like we should have. I could go on-and-on, but I’m happy for the win.”
Tate posted 16 points and hit four from beyond the arc.
Williams posted 12 points.
Jordan Smith had 11 points that included three 3-pointers.
George Smith tallied nine points and Holmes put up five points for Mt. Hermon in the victory.
Luke Corbello posted 10 points for Lacassine.
Doffoney had seven while Alex McBride recorded six, Kibodeaux totaled four and Miller had three. Doffoney and Kibodeaux hit a three each.
No. 10 Mt. Hermon moved to 21-8 and advanced to the regional round to play seventh-seeded and 21-12 Weston. That game took place yesterday.
No. 23 Lacassine finishes with a 9-25 record.

Mt. Hermon’s Jordan Smith takes a shot in a playoff game held Friday at home. Smith posted 11 points.