MARSH MADNESS: Simsboro wins, Hornets buzz basket too late

Warren Arceneaux

Hathaway’s last-minute rally came up short as Simsboro beat the Hornets 67-61 in a Class B semifinal Tuesday at Burton Coliseum.

Simsboro (24-2) advanced to face No. 1 Anacoco, which beat No. 5 J.S. Clark, in Friday’s championship game. It will be Simsboro’s fourth consecutive championship game appearance.

Hathaway (24-6) trailed by as many as 19 in the third quarter and was down 18 in the final 3 minutes before scoring 14 straight points to get within four points with 16 seconds left. Noah Guidry scored four points in the run, which also included a 3-pointer by Koyden Lopez and a three-point play by Cayden Hill.

Simsboro, which had missed the front end of three consecutive one-and-one free throws during the Hathaway run, made 2 of 4 free throws in the final seconds to hold on for the win.

Tigers head coach Josh Brown said he was at fault for the late-game struggles.

“That was on me,” the Simsboro coach said. “Sometimes you overcoach things. When you get a big lead like that sometimes you start spreading the ball and working the clock, and that is not how we play. That’s not how our guys are coached. We need to keep the game fast.”

Simsboro closed the first half with a 12-2 run to take a 33-26 halftime lead.

Guidry had 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in the half to lead Hathaway. Simsboro shot 38 percent in the half but grabbed 11 offensive rebounds and forced 12 Hathaway turnovers.

“It got away from us in the second quarter, a bit in the third,” Hathaway head coach Eric Willis said. “We didn’t shoot the ball as well as we usually do. We have been struggling with that a little lately with the off and on, playing from COVID cancellations and everything kind of hurt our shooting ability.”

Hathaway struggled from long range, making 2 of 13 3-point attempts. Simsboro made 7 of 14 from long range.

The Hornets played well early, building a 15-10 lead late in the first quarter and holding a 24-21 midway though the second before Simsboro’s run to end the quarter.

Guidry finished with 24 points, 17 rebounds, four blocks and two assists. Ian Augustine added 11 for Hathaway.

Nick Maryland scored 25 to lead Simsboro. Jamarian Cato added 13 for the Tigers. Maryland scored 10 in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer to give Simsboro its largest lead at 51-32.Hathaway’s Noah Guidry is fouled by Simsboro’s Reggie Tyler during the semifinal round of the Class B state basketball tournament Tuesday night at Burton Coliseum . Guidry had a double-double of 24 points and 17 rebounds .

Rick Hickman / American PressSimsboro’s Nick Maryland goes up for a layup as he’s challenged by Hathaway’s Noah Guidry during a Class B semifinal Tuesday at the state basketball tournament at Burton Coliseum.

Rick Hickman / American Press

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