(6) ALEXANDRIA 38, (4) BONNABEL 37
at Burton Coliseum, Friday (Mar. 13), Class 5A Championship
Records: Alexandria, 32-6; Bonnabel, 27-7
HOW THE GAME WAS WON: 3 KEY MOMENTS
- A defensive battle between Class 5A’s top two teams came down to the final 0.7 seconds in Friday’s finale at the Burton Coliseum. Bonnabel point guard Theo Johnson came up with a key steal with just under 15 seconds left down, 38-37, and had a chance to tie or take the lead. The Bruins took a timeout near half court with 8.2 seconds left, but Alexandria’s Desmond McQuain poked the ball loose from Johnson forcing Bonnabel to take another timeout with 0.7 seconds left once they momentarily corralled the ball. That left time a quick catch-and-shoot or a lob to the rim, and with 6-foot-7 Will Allen on the court, the Bruins went for the latter. Tyron Williams took his best shot at giving Allen a chance for the tip-in, but Ja’darius Clark broke it up before the Bruins’ star forward had an opportunity to get his hands on the ball giving Alexandria its first title in school history.
- In a low-scoring, defensive contest it looked like Desmond McQuain driving layup at the 3:28 would be enough to give Alexandria the win up 36-30 — their largest lead of the game. The Bruins, however, scored the next five points of the game in 1:25 span with Will Allen scoring four of those. Two of his four came at the free throw line and Bonnabel delivered at the stripe once again with 23 seconds left when Tyron Williams sank both of his attempts to pull the Bruins within, 38-37. Theo Johnson then came up with the aforementioned steal to give Bonnabel a chance at stealing a victory, but just as they had for most of the game, Alexandria stepped up on defense with two key stops.
- The largest lead of Friday’s game actually belonged to Bonnabel. The Bruins began the game on a 9-0 run with back-to-back layups by Kyshoun James to start before Nomar Dijol sank a 3-pointer to end it with 2:19 left in the first quarter. Alexandria finally got on the board on the ensuing possession with two free throws by Theon Johnson, and got their first field goal at the 1:22 mark en route to scoring the last six of the period.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Latrell Holly, Alexandria
Holly didn’t necessarily have his best game of the season, but he certainly did enough to help the Trojans get the victory earning the game’s Most Outstanding Player Award. He led ASH in scoring (9), rebounding (8) and assists (3) while playing all 32 minutes in an intense contest. Holly was also 3-for-3 at the free throw line where Alexandria as a team shot 9-for-10.
- It was a once-in-a-lifetime setting Friday in Burton Coliseum as the coronavirus outbreak forced the LHSAA to turn away fans at the gate. Only a select few outside of players and coaches were allowed in the building including LHSAA staff, security, media and a handful of school officials. There were likely no more than 50-60 people in the arena at one time in what was the oddest “atmosphere” anyone will run across for a state championship game. Regardless of the attendance, though, players and coaches were universally thankful to the LHSAA for allowing the championships to be played.
- It was the first basketball state title in Alexandria’s history while Bonnabel fell just short of the same goal.
- Bonnabel took a huge blow when their “twin tower” duo Will Allen and Kyshoun James both picked up two early first-quarter fouls. After putting on a block party in the quarterfinals versus Zachary totaling six blocks between and over 10 for the team, the Bruins had zero rejections in Friday’s title game. They did, however, win the rebound battle 30-25, and Allen was tied for the game-high in rebounds with eight while being the only player to score double-digits with 10. He did so in limited time playing just 20 minutes while James played just 19 minutes.
- Describing Friday’s meeting as a “defensive battle” would likely be an understatement. Alexandria was just 14-of-34 (41.2%) from the field including 1-of-13 (0.08%) from beyond the arc while Bonnabel just couldn’t buy a bucket going 11-of-41 (26.8%) and 2-of-16 (0.13%) from three. The Bruins did get to the foul line more making 13 of 20 (65.0%) attempts, but Alexandria was more efficient going 9-for-10 (90.0%).
Alexandria Interviews: Coming soon…
Bonnabel Interviews: Coming soon…
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Alexandria | 6 | 15 (21) | 8 (29) | 9 – 38
Bonnabel | 9 | 9 (18) | 9 (27) | 10 – 37
Alexandria: Latrell Holly, 9; Desmond McQuain, 8; Noah Jonker, 7; Theron Johnson, 6; Ja’darius Clark, 4; Robert Drakes, 4.
Bonnabel: Will Allen, 10; Nomar Dijol, 8; Jonathan Brock, 6; Kyshoun James, 5; Torrence Bardell, 3; Theo Johnson, 3; Tyron Williams, 2.