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Alexandria Senior High’s Shaan Washington (40, center) comes down with a rebound Friday against Bolton High School. ASH won, 74-39.

Photo Courtesy of Melinda Martinez / The Town Talk
Alexandria's 74-39 win over Bolton sets table for Monday showdown

From The Town Talk

By: Warren Hayes

The pain shot through Bolton High basketball coach Fred Eloi's chest every time Alexandria Senior High basketball players shot behind the 3-point line.

Eloi watched as his team couldn't defend the 3-pointers coming from the Trojans in ASH's 74-39 win Friday night at Bolton High in Alexandria.

ASH's victory set the stage for its game at home Monday night against Peabody, which was upset by Leesville, 68-57, Friday. Both teams have one district loss, so Monday's game will decide the league championship.

"Everything we worked for comes down to this moment," Tinsley said. "We are prepared to be crowned district champions."

Meanwhile, ASH's dominance and its strategies didn't surprise Bolton Friday.

"They didn't do anything we didn't expect them to do," Eloi said. "We tried to play man defense against them and we failed on that. Those 3-pointers were like daggers in my chest. This district is only going to get harder."

The Trojans, 26-4 overall, 8-1 in District 3-4A and ranked No. 3 in the LHSAA power rankings, made 5 of 8 three pointers. Bolton's Bears (12-12, 1-7) made three of seven 3-pointers.

Trojans basketball coach Alan Tinsley said his team is full of three-point specialists.

"We have players that can shoot all over the floor," said Tinsley, whose team has a big rematch against league-leading Peabody at ASH Monday night. "We needed to win this game because our eye is on that district title. We take no opponents lightly."

Christavious "Tay Tay" Gill led ASH with 13 points on a night when he passed more often than he shot, and Shaan Washington added 11 points for the Trojans.

ASH's Eddie Travis scored the first bucket with with a 3-pointer, but Bolton's Ken Casey later hit a 3-pointer to tie the score 6-6. Casey led Bolton with 11 points.

Another of ASH's 3-pointers came from Cortavious Williams in the first quarter, when ASH led 22-10. Casey got his last 3-pointer with 2:32 left in the first.

"We tried to keep up with them in the 3-point shooting," Eloi said. "It just didn't work." Gill, who usually hits several 3's in a game, made his only 3-pointer in the second quarter after Bolton's Donovan Thomas missed a layup.

ASH played at a much slower tempo than it is accustomed against its unmatched opponent.

"We have what it takes to win that district title," Gill said. "We have a tough district. If we continue to play tough defense, we can get that district title."

The second quarter is when the Trojans showed their physical dominance. Washington, a Texas A&M football commitment, scored the first points of the second quarter with a monstrous dunk after a pass from Gill.

"Shaan is a big guy, and it also helps when your guy plays football," Tinsley said. "Shaan can move around in the paint with ease."

ASH's Travis Jenkins made his lone 3-pointer in the second quarter.

"We switched to playing man defense," Eloi said. "Like I said, they didn't do anything we haven't already seen. We have one senior in Logan Barton. We're young and just need to improve.