BASTROP — Jordan Rabun and Dentavion Hawkins combined for 33 points as Bastrop was a 61-51 winner over Neville in the District 2-4A finale for both teams Friday night.
Holding a narrow 23-22 advantage at the midway point, the host Rams never relinquished the lead in the second half.
Keeshaan Scott’s driving layup and Rabun’s transition layup off a Hawkins assist triggered a 9-2 run to start the second half.
After Neville’s Patrick McCraney sank a pair of free throws, Kyron Williams drained a 3-pointer from the right corner and finished on the break off of a perfectly-placed bounce pass from Hawkins to put the Rams up 32-24.
McCraney’s eight-footer from the right baseline sliced the deficit to four, 34-30, but the Tigers could get no closer.
“Give Bastrop credit — they played hard. They definitely took it to us, and we never really responded,” said Neville coach Phillip Craig, whose team had already clinched the district title.
In contrast to the first round meeting — a 61-47 Neville victory — the Rams shot effectively from outside.
“Bastrop shot the ball well,” Craig said. “Initially, that was what we wanted them to do — take 3s — and they were knocking them down.”
Counting four 3s, the Rams hit 24 shots from the floor to offset a huge deficit on the boards.
“We shot the ball we from the perimeter, which was our gameplan coming in,” Bastrop coach Theabury Odom said. “We stressed in practice that we were going to have to take the perimeter shots with confidence. We took what they gave us.”
Keeping the Tigers at arms length, the Rams worked their lead back to nine, 44-35, on Rabun’s trifecta in the waning seconds of the third quarter.
Bastrop stretched its lead to 11 on three occasions in the fourth quarter before the Tigers put together a mini-run around the two-minute mark.
Trailing 55-44, Neville narrowed the gap to seven on McKennald Armstead’s putback and McCraney’s steal and layup.
With a chance to cut further into the lead, Neville’s next two possessions resulted in an unsuccessful 3-pointer and two missed shots.
Bastrop then ran 24 seconds off the clock before Hawkins knocked down a pair of free throws to make it 57-48 with 44 seconds remaining.
Melvin Brandley’s driving layup kept Neville’s faint hopes alive before Hawkins buried a short jumper off the glass ,and Williams sank both ends of a double bonus to put the game away.
Strop City made 9-of-13 free throws for the game, and was a clutch 7-of-9 in the fourth quarter.
“That’s how you finish,” Odom said of the Rams’ fourth quarter free throw shooting. “We found ourselves with the lead late in the game. At that point, you want to control the tempo and limit turnovers, and the kids did a good job of that.”
Bastrop led 12-11 at the end of the first quarter. McCraney opened the second quarter scoring with a turn-around from the left side to give Neville its final lead, 13-12. Three straight buckets by Rabun sparked a 6-2 run, and put the Rams ahead to stay.
Rabun paced a trio of double figures scorers for the Rams (14-14, 2-2) with 17 points. Hawkins netted 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter on 4-of-4 free throw shooting and Williams contributed 13.
For Neville (16-12, 3-1), McRaney led all scorers with 21 points, followed by Armstead with 13 — nine in the fourth quarter.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Tigers, while the Rams won their fourth straight.
“We had been playing pretty well,” Craig said. “You have to see (the winning streak) end like this, but again, you have to give Bastrop a lot of credit.”
“We have been playing pretty good ball the last four games,” Odom added. “This is the time of year you want to start playing your best basketball.”
Neville visits Richwood on Tuesday at 7 p.m. before hosting Bossier in the regular season finale on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Bastrop is at home vs. Delhi Charter on Tuesday, and finishes out the regular season at Richwood on Friday. Starting time for both contests is 7 p.m.
Neville 48, Bastrop 29
Jenna Farrar poured in 21 points, including five baskets from long range, as Neville cruised past Bastrop to close out the regular campaign.
Connecting on four 3-pointers, Farrar staked the visitors to an 18-5 first quarter lead.
Neville held a 27-14 halftime advantage, and was never seriously challenged in the second half.
Gabby Kelley and Farrar scored five points apiece as the Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Rams 15-6 in the third quarter en route to building a 42-20 lead.
Farrar was the game’s lone double figures scorer. Destiny Cephas paced the Lady Rams (11-16, 1-3) with seven points.
Neville (18-10, 4-0) won for the 13th time in its past 14 outings.
Playoff brackets will be released Monday afternoon.
Neville …. 11 11 13 16—51
Bastrop .. 12 11 21 17—61
NEVILLE (16-13, 3-1) — Patrick McCraney 21, McKennald Armstead 13, Charles Washington 9, Juvian Keys 3, Zion Smith 3, Will Campbell 2.
BASTROP (14-14, 2-2) — Jordan Rabun 17, Dentavion Hawkins 16, Kyron Williams 13, Keeshaan Scott 6, Cafredrick McGill 5, Melvin Brandley 4.
Three-point goals — Neville 3 (McCraney, Washington, Smith), Bastrop 4 (Williams 3, Rabun 1). Total fouls — Neville 13, Bastrop 15. Free throw shooting — Neville 12-23, Bastrop 9-13. Fouled out — McGill (0:6.9, 4th). Technicals — none.
Neville …. 18 9 15 6—48
Bastrop …..5 9 ..6 9—29
NEVILLE (18-10, 4-0) — Jenna Farrar 21, Gabby Kelley 7, DaKayla Howard 6, Mackenzie Donaldson 6, Madison Donaldson 3, Jojo Briggs 3, La’tavia Crosby 2.
BASTROP (11-16, 1-3) — Destiny Cephas 7, Tydeijah Minnieweather 6, NuNu Johnson 6, Chyberia Wilson 4, Makala Hillard 2, Mariah Heard 2, Jamise Rabun 2.
Three-point goals — Neville 1 (Madison Donaldson), Bastrop 3 (Minnieweather 2, Cephas 1. Total fouls — Neville 4, Bastrop 7. Free throw shooting — Neville 6-11, Bastrop 0-0. Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.