The Ellender Patriots had no trouble in defeating Covenant Christian Academy 66-20 Wednesday night in Patriot Summer Basketball League play in Houma.

Four Patriots scored in double figures. Larry Franklin and Tyshaun Hester led the way with 15 points each, along 14 points from Exavier Lewis and 10 from Amare Johnson. Carter Fabre headed the Lions with eight points, followed by Ty Punch with seven.

“We’re just trying to get them in a rhythm. We’re taking summer league as a season,” Ellender coach Kirk Townsend said. “We’re playing three freshmen, two sophomores and senior. They’re taking coaching well. They’re willing to learn, being obedient, coming to practice on time, working hard and being efficient.”

“We’ve had probably three practices, but I’ve had one practice with everybody there so far,” Lions coach Kenneth Lacy said. “We’re real young. We got four seniors, but none of them were here (Wednesday).”

Ellender scored 13 unanswered points to begin the game. Lewis had six points during the run on three consecutive backcourt steals he converted into uncontested layups.

Then Franklin drained back-to-back 3-pointers from the wing, and Trevell Lirette (seven points) nailed a corner 3-pointer and a jumper along the baseline to build a 21-2 lead.

Johnson sparked a 16-2 Patriots run with consecutive long jumpers and a 3-pointer. Hester scored the last six points on the half slicing through the Lions defense on layups for a 41-10 Patriots advantage.

“We’re trying to get them up to speed of the high school game. A lot of them have been playing freshman ball or AAU ball,” Townsend said. “It’s just Basketball 101 right now: pass and cutting through, screen and away, the concepts of man-to-man defense, staying in front of you man, help defense.”

“I love what I see because with the seniors not being here, it gives a lot of the younger guys a chance to step up and play,” Lacy said. “They’re getting frustrated because we’re getting blown out a lot. But they don’t understand that even though we’re losing, there’s still a lot of good going on in those losses.”

Unable to get shots at the rim, Punch and Ian Portier (six points) both made shot from beyond the 3-point arc for the Lions in the second half.

However, Ellender continued to extend its lead with a 19-3 run, including 13 unanswered. Franklin made a pair of tough layups; Lewis sunk two 3-pointers from the top of the key, and Hester guided through the paint for consecutive layups.

“They need to learn to play through adversity and know it’s going to be hard,” Lacy said. “Even when the seniors come back it’s not going to be easy.”

“Defense is the thing we need to improve on most,” Townsend said. “We got a lot of young who tend to reach. They’ve been getting away with reaching their whole career at TPR, Grand Caillou, Oaklawn. We teaching the basics: keeping he guy in front of you, blocking out and talking on defense.”


At the Patriot Summer Basketball League, three Ellender players scored in double figures, led by Nykee Johnson Jr. with 21 points. Wes Spry headed the Warriors with 15 points. Ellender led 25-14 at halftime.


At the Patriot Summer Basketball League, three Gators scored in double figures for the victory. Noah Cooks had 12 points; Marquel Marshall got 11 points, and Mike Robinson had 10. No. 3 and 13 each had four points for the Lions. The Gators led 28-5 at halftime.


At the Patriot Summer Basketball League, Justin Wallis sparked the Tigers with 13 points in a comeback win over the Terriers. Kenyon Charles led the Terriers with 10 points Terrebonne led 10-8 at halftime.