Independence Boys hold off Amite’s second half rally for win

LOCK DOWN- Independence guard Genord Perry had five steals in the first half of the win against rival Amite. He finished with 14 points total. Photo by Matthew Roy.

By Jesse Brooks

AMITE- The Independence boys basketball team (11-2 overall) is now 3-0 in District 9-2A after defeating rival Amite 59-50 on Friday, January 12. Senior forward Melvin Baker produced another standout performance, scoring a total of 27 points and providing four blocks on defense.
The Tigers, who lost to Amite in the Parish Tournament, began their revenge campaign by jumping out to a 23-7 lead after the first quarter of play. Baker earned 17 points in the first quarter that included a slam dunk, a mid-range jumper, a behind the back layup and a pull-up 3-pointer while running the point.
Tiger guard Genord Perry, who finished with 14 points, also did is part to build the early lead in the first half by grabbing five steals that started fast break scoring opportunities on the other end. As the Warriors were on their heels, the Tigers found balance as Jaden Howard and Deangelo Gaines both hit 3point shots early in the second quarter. Near the end of the first half, Baker hit a shot from beyond the arc that contributed to a 38-14 halftime lead for the Tigers.
However, Warriors came out of intermission to go on an 8-0 run that made things too close for comfort for the Tigers.
“Our defense was better in the half court for the first half,” said Tigers Coach Ace Misita. “The problem in the second half was bad decision making and trying to force the issue. Turning the ball over led to their points. We can’t do that against a team like Amite. They are too talented and too well coached.
Despite being down 48-28, Amite kept chipping away. A bucket with contact by Devonta Lee, and a floater for Deron Edwards, capped off an 8-0 run for the Warriors as the Tigers called timeout with 5:51 and their lead cut to 48-36. Dajavorious Downing continued the run by getting back-to-back fast break buckets to trail 50-41.
After Warrior center Tyrus Wheat scored a layup with contact, Downing came up big again by nailing a 3-pointer inside of two minutes to go to cut the score to 58-50. However, The Tiger offense was able to hold possession long enough to kill about 30 seconds off of the clock, crucial for closing out the Tiger victory.
The loss makes Amite tied with Northlake Christian for second place in district at 2-1 while Independence is the sole leader. The Warriors will face NLC on Tuesday, January 16 for their next matchup.
Also on Tuesday, the Tigers will travel to Pine for their next contest.


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