The Fair Park Lady Indians didn’t want to suffer the ignominy of last year’s early exit from the LHSAA playoffs, so they turned up the volume against Woodlawn on Friday night and raced away to an impressive 78-56 victory.
Playing in front of a near full house in their own gym on Greenwood Road, coach Cherise Sims’ club used their strength in the paint and their speed on the perimeter to build a 34-point lead midway through the third quarter, then withstood a furious Lady Knights comeback.
“We weren’t going to let anyone come in here and beat us,” said speedy guard Ty’Ronica Foster. “We weren’t surprised we got out to a big lead because we know what we’re capable of doing.”
With the win, the 7th-seeded Lady Indians (20-9) earned the right for a second round home playoff game with 10-seed Franklinton (20-6) on Monday at 6 p.m. The Lady Demons trumped Landry/Walker 66-49 on Thursday.
Wound tighter than cats on spiked FancyFeast, the Lady Indians bolted out of the gate with weapons ablazing. Foster, who finished with 18 points, scored on a runner off the opening tip setting the stage for what was to come. Savonya Robinson dropped in a long distance 3-pointer off the right flank a minute into the contest and the attack kept coming.
“The girls came out with a lot of focus, because this bunch is determined to get to Lake Charles,” Sims said. “Our defensive intensity set us up tonight. I tell the girls all the time that the offense will be there if they play defense.”
Outsized in the paint, the Lady Knights (12-11) had trouble getting more than one shot at the bucket. And the Fair Park’s Brittney Myles (12 points), Savannah Thomas (10) and Dominique Johnson (24) slapped a half-dozen potential Woodlawn buckets out of play.
“We came out flat and Fair Park came out with IT on their minds,” Woodlawn coach Patrick Lindsey said. “It was their night. But in the fourth quarter, we showed a lot of character, because we could have hung our heads.”
Despite trailing big in the third quarter, a trio of senior Lady Knights in Amber Cook (22 points), Haggar Caldwell (17) and Rachel Elzie (7) did their best to keep their final season from ending with a 24-point fourth quarter. But it was too little too late.
Fair Park fans held their breath in the late in the third quarter when Foster went to the bench with an ankle injury. Then in the fourth, Myles, Fair Park’s 6-foot-3 center, went down with a knee injury. Both appeared to be recovered following the game, however.
Destrehan 87, Haughton 33: Brittney Robinett posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds in her final game as a Lady Buc, but her team couldn’t match-up with the pressure of the Lady Wildcats (28-1).
“If they play like they did against us, that team will be very hard to beat,” Haughton coach Jennifer Pesnell said. “They shot the lights out (55 percent) as a team and they are extremely quick.”
Senior Mattie McCoy dropped in 8 points for the Lady Bucs, who closed out their season 24-9. Destrehan was led by freshman Cara Ursin and Jordan Babney with 24 points apiece.
Ascension Catholic 68, Plain Dealing 41: The Lady Lions managed just three points in the third quarter, while allowing 21 and fell in the opening round of the Class 1A state playoffs.
Draunitka Thomas and Dra Briggs led Plain Dealing (17-13) with 9 points apiece. Darmesha Noble and Deaspria Harris added 6 points each for coach Sheila Dupree.