Woodlawn coach Patrick Lindsey isn’t looking forward to Tuesday’s regular season finale for his Lady Knights’ basketball team. He’ll have to say goodbye to three seniors who have been the heart and soul of his club over the past four years.
Haggar Caldwell, Rachel Elzie and Amber Cook have provided some memorable moments for Lindsey, now in his seventh season at Woodlawn. The Lady Knights (10-8, 5-3) should make the 4A state playoffs with their current No. 30 LHSAA power rating, but will have to play on the road.
“It’ll be a sad night — a sad occasion for me,” Lindsey said. “This will be the first group of seniors I’ve had that I’ve been this close to. They’ve been dear to my heart.”
Caldwell, whose older sister played for Lindsey, has been a starter since her freshman campaign. She averages 13 points, 11 assists and 8 steals per contest.
“We call her the drama queen in a kidding way, because the other kids feed off her energy, positive or negative,” Lindsey said. “She is the key to energizing our team. She can definitely light the fire for us.”
The Lady Knights’ scoring leader, Cook is putting up 22 points and pulling down 8 rebounds per contest. Lindsey knew he had something special when he saw her as an eighth-grader and felt lucky she decided to attend Woodlawn.
“Amber is her way all the time — ‘yes sir, no sir’ — ‘I’ll get it done.’ What little success we’ve had is due to her,” Lindsey said. “We call her the quiet assassin. She’ll get 25 or 30 points on a night, but it doesn’t look like it. One of the other coaches nicknamed her ‘Bron-Bron’ for Lebron, because when we need points, she’s who we go to.”
Elzie isn’t the type player other coaches would covet, according to Lindsey, but she has earned a special spot in his lineup.
“I see her giving it everything she has, and she has a deadly 3-point shot,” Lindsey said. “She has this dry sense of humor that only I can work with. She’ll get mad about something and walk down the court, but she’ll do whatever I ask. She’d run through a brick wall if I asked her to.”
Along with 15 points each outing, Elzie has dropped in 62 from behind the arc after Friday’s 55-47 District 1-4A win against Huntington. Although she tries to maintain a crusty veneer, Lindsey sees some cracks in the sharp-shooters persona.
“Rachel would never admit it, but on senior night, she is the one who will cry the hardest,” he said.
A Sheppard leads them
With McNeese coach Brooks Donald Williams looking on, Lady Rebel senior Ledetriha “DeDe” Sheppard, a McNeese-signee, put on a show on Friday in her team’s 93-21 win over Calvary.
On senior recognition night, Sheppard poured in a career-high 38 points, mostly on bombs from long distance. She hit eight 3-pointers to move the No. 1-ranked Lady Rebels to 26-1 on the season and 7-0 in District 1-2A.
Stanley keeps rolling
Class B’s No. 2 ranked Stanley moved to 35-0 after Monday’s 63-39 road win over Converse. Although Michee Alexander pumped in 27 points in the game, it was Sara Housley who had the biggest impact on the final score.
The junior posted a triple-double with 10 points, 23 rebounds and 10 blocks.
“We’ve been playing well but both (No. 1) Fairview (29-1) and (No. 3) Lacassine (27-1) are very good,” Stanley coach Cleve Craig said. “Sara has been a solid rebounder for us every night.”