WEST MONROE — Coach John Green could sense his West Monroe Lady Rebels were ready for the start of District 2-5A play. The pregame had an electricity in the air that is reserved for special occasions.
West Monroe (18-4, 1-0) might have been a little too ready.
West Monroe and Pineville both stumbled through a clumsy first quarter, but it was West Monroe which found its footing first and pulled away late for a 46-39 win Tuesday night.
West Monroe hit its stride beginning the third quarter and went on a 10-0 run to seize control on the game.
Pineville, behind the hot hand of junior guard Danyale Bayonne, clawed its way back into the game with a big run of its own in the closing moments of the game. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Bayonne and a layup by sophomore center Krystal Freeman were part of a 7-1 run that tied the game at 39 with 1:37 to play.
West Monroe senior Samarius Colquitt then hit a 3-pointer of her own and a Pineville intentional foul with 41 seconds left keyed a 7-0 run to end the game for West Monroe.
“It was a strange game in that, you are ready for district to start, and then it took us a minute to get our offense going,” Green said. “I think we just had to get aggressive and get to the free-throw line. It took us away from jump shots. We had too many one-dribble jump shots in the first quarter. Our passing got better too after that.”
Colquitt led all scorers with 20 points while Jasmyn Johnson scored 11 points and Abby Lee chipped in nine points for West Monroe.
Bayonne finished with a team-high 17 points for Pineville (15-6, 0-1) while Freeman chipped in eight points.
Alexandria Senior High (15-2, 0-1), which opened 2-5A play with a 55-48 loss at Ouachita on Tuesday, will host West Monroe on Friday. Pineville, meanwhile, will host Ruston on Friday.