Tuesday night, the Leesville men’s basketball team overcame an early 14-point deficit to defeat Broughton at home by a score of 58-51.
The Pride (10-9, 6-3) had fallen to the Capitals (16-2, 7-2) previously this season, 70-57 on December 16, but this game couldn’t have been more opposite.
The Pride started slow, scoring only three field goals in the first quarter. The Caps jumped out to a 21-9 lead by the end of the 1st quarter, led by seven points from Jerome Robinson, a verbal commit to Boston College for next season.
The Broughton lead continued to expand, reaching 14 points midway through the second period. But the Pride soon hunkered down and the defense stepped up.
“We got down early. We got into foul trouble early in the game and we got too excited, not making very smart plays,” said Leesville head coach Russ Frazier. “But once we settled down into the game we played pretty well, defensively especially.”
Jonathan Mebane scored seven points and three field goals in the second period to rally the Pride, while the defense held Broughton to a mere two field goals the entire quarter. Because of the defensive effort, the Pride were able to climb back to a two-point deficit (27-25) at the half.
The defense continued to hold steady throughout the third quarter, and yet again Broughton was held to only two field goals the entire quarter and six points total. Alex Hunter stepped up and added eight points in the frame, including a three-pointer which helped add to a 16-point third quarter effort for the Pride.
Leesville jumped out to a 41-32 lead by the fourth quarter and it was cushioned by 13 combined points, most of which came in the paint and at the line, from Jonathan Mebane and Ben Zemonek.
Said Frazier of Broughton, which entered the game ranked second in the state at 16-1, “They are a big time team and they even have the one ACC commit. To not expect them to make a run at the end was a big difference.”
Mebane led all scorers with 20, while Zemonek added 15 and Hunter dropped another nine points to help cushion the game. Broughton was led by Robinson who scored 17 points and Roy McMillan’s 11 points.
“It’s Jonathan Mebane, Ben Zemonek, Patrick Rice, Eric Scollard; what can you say about them. Alex Hunter handling under pressure, making the difference again and again. Big game for us,” said Frazier.
With the win, Leesville moved back into third place in the Cap-8 conference, jumping Heritage (5-4) after the Huskies lost to Sanderson Tuesday. The Pride will take on Sanderson in an away game this Friday at 8:00; they won their first meeting with the Spartans this season, 75-45.