When the 2014 LHSAA Girls High School basketball playoffs tip off across north Louisiana this week, the Fair Park Lady Indians are a team that could be more dangerous than their No. 7 seeding.
Coach Cherise Sims’ club is a deceiving 19-9 overall after capturing District 1-4A with a spotless 10-0 mark. The Lady Indians, who will host league rival Woodlawn on Friday, haven’t lost since 6-foot-3 Brittney Myles became eligible on Jan. 8, a streak of 11 games.
“The girls have really bought in to what we were teaching them and they told us they aren’t ready for the season to end,” Sims said. “They’re a tough bunch of girls and we’ve played very well with Brittney in the lineup.”
The Fair Park-Woodlawn matchup is the only one featuring two local teams against each other, however No. 8 seed Southwood, the defending 5A champs, will host No. 25 Carencro at 6 p.m. Thursday. The top-seeded North Caddo Lady Rebels will begin their charge toward Lake Charles at 6:30 p.m. Thursday when No. 32 Oak Hill of Elmer visits Vivian.
No. 12 Green Oaks will host No. 21 Parkview Baptist in a 3A contest on Thursday at 6 p.m., while No. 6 Mansfield hosts No. 27 St. Louis in the same division. Other area home games include Red River against French Settlement and Lakeview against Northeast in 2A contests, while No. 5 Arcadia gets a home game against St. Edmund in 1A.
Caddo and Bossier parish 5A teams on the road include No. 27 Haughton (24-8) at No. 6 Destrehan (27-1) at 6 p.m. Friday and No. 26 Airline (17-13) at No. 7 Ponchatoula (23-5) on Thursday. In 4A, No. 19 Benton (20-11) is at No. 14 West Ouachita (21-10) at 6 p.m. Thursday, No. 22 Huntington (14-10) is at 11 St. Michael (20-12) at 6 p.m. Thursday and No. 18 Loyola (19-11) will travel to No. 15 Peabody (20-9). No. 28 Evangel (14-15) will have to visit No. 5 Notre Dame (24-4) of Crowley for a 6:30 Thursday 3A game.
The No. 2-seeded Stanley Lady Panthers (38-0) host Centerville in Class B, while No. 6 Castor gets a home game with Zwolle. No. 5 Florien hosts Quitman and No. 12 Converse hosts Hathaway.
Fair Park is a team that began molding itself into a solid squad during the off-season, winning the local summer league. The team played a solid schedule in non-district play with six of the nine losses coming against teams that are a combined 141-10 on the season.
“Everyone on our team is focused and we know what we have to do,” said Savonya Robinson, the Lady Indians’ only senior. “We have a lot of confidence right now and we won’t be taking any team for granted.”
Fair Park was already filled with a lot of quickness behind Tyronica Foster (18.6 ppg., 4 steals), Dominque Johnson (16 ppg, 10 rpg), Savannah Thomas (10 ppg, 12 rpg) and Robinson, who put up 31 points on senior night against Minden. But the addition of the soft-spoken Myles, who sat out the first semester after transferring from Evangel, makes the Lady Indians even more formidable.
“We’ve done great so far and I was ready to play,” Myles said. “Everyone on this team supports each other no matter what. We expect to go far in the playoffs.”
That could mean at trip to the Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles where the girls’ state championship contests will be held.
“We’re looking to end up in Lake Charles,” Sims said. “You have to set your goals high, and even though we’ll take it one game at a time, we expect to be there.”