Behind 24 points boys tournament MVP Seginald Bryant and its effective press, Leesville overcame a slow start to defeat Simpson in the championship game of the Vernon Parish Tournament.

The Wampus Cats outscored the Broncos 19-12 in the fourth quarter to pull away for the 74-59 win Saturday night at Hornbeck High School.

"It's good for the team," Bryant said. "It builds our confidence. We've started slow at the beginning at the season, and we are trying to pick it up and become a really good team.

"It's my first time winning (the MVP). I have no words. I'm speechless."

The Leesville defense recorded 13 steals and seven blocks in the game, which caused issues for Simpson's offensive rhythm.

"We were waiting to wear them down, physically and mentally," Leesville coach Troy Grigg said. "The fatigue gets to you. That's something we were waiting on."

Simpson led at halftime 31-27 and stayed in the game during the Wampus Cat run in the second half by attacking the paint and getting to the rim.

"We wanted to control the paint, take quality shots and don't let them get an easy shots," Simpson coach Jade Losavio said. "We just kind of ran out of gas."

Leesville forward Duwon Tolbert scored 17 points, with 15 coming in the second half, while being a force, defensively, in the paint.

"He's a great athlete," Grigg said. "He's strong, jumps well and alters a lot of stuff in the paint."

With 2 minutes, 40 seconds left in the third quarter, Leesville took its first lead of the second half with a 3-pointer from Koby Joiner to make it 44-41.

The Wampus Cats made it a double-digit lead with a layup by Tolbert to start the fourth quarter, and Leesville was able to hold off Simpson until the final buzzer rang.

"It's important for Leesville High School and important for these kids," Grigg said. "Hopefully, it's a big turning point for us with our season headed into Christmas break."

Tanner Yates led the Broncos with 22 points, and Dustin Williams was right behind him with 21 points.

"(Yates is) our energy guy," Losavio said. "He always gives 100 percent and wants to win. He just wants to win. That's what we need to win. I'm proud of all of those guys.

"We're getting ready for a district run, and hopefully, a top-28 run again this year. It's a good test to play Pickering, Leesville and Pitkin."

Simpson got to the championship game with a 76-54 win over Pickering in the semifinals.

The Broncos got out to a 36-23 lead at halftime, spurred by 11 points from Williams in the first period.

Williams led all scorers with 23 points, while Yates added 13.

Dashawn Jackson led Pickering with 16 points, and Ahmad Fleming scored 12 points.

Leesville defeated Hornbeck 66-52 in the first boys semifinal of the day behind 15 points from Tolbert and 14 from Bryant.

Hornbeck's Micah Crittenden led all scorers with 20 points in the loss.

The Hornets led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter, but the Wampus Cats outscored the Hornbeck 17-6 in the second to take the lead.