FAMILIAR TERRITORY- Independence senior forward Melvin Baker scored 22 points in a 54-28 win over Pope John Paul II to advance to the District 9-2A Championship against Amite. Photo by Matthew Roy.
By Jesse Brooks
Independence (18-3 overall) advanced past the first round of the District 9-2A Championship on Tuesday, February 6 by defeating Pope John Paul II 54-28. In the championship round, the Tigers will face rival Amite for the fourth time this season.
Senior Tiger forward Melvin Baker scored 22 points to lead all scorers in a game that started slow, but saw the Tigers snowball their lead as they jumped out 40-18 with under two minutes to go in the third quarter.
“I think they had a game plan to try to slow us down and grind it out,” Tigers Coach Ace Misita said. “That’s why we tried to speed the game up early and get that 10 point lead, and then we slowed down. Because for the other team, you can’t slow down and grind when you’re behind by 10.”
Misita said the key to victory last night was to get them out of their game plan, which was initially well executed, to be able to get into their own.
Tiger guard Michael Otkins. Photo by Matthew Roy.
Misita also noted that, once again, his team is in very familiar territory. The Tigers will face Amite for the title game. It’s the third time the two teams have met this season, the first being in the Parish Tournament Championship, and the Warriors have won two out of the three.
“It’s Amite and Independence for the district championship. It doesn’t get any better than this,” Misita said.
Tip off for the District 9-2A Championship game will be tonight at 7:15 p.m. in Amite.
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