For three-quarters of Thursday night’s match-up with District 1-4A foe Bossier, the Woodlawn Lady Knights looked as if they didn’t belong on the same court with the Lady Bearkats.
Shots were being flung up with abandon and many weren’t coming close to the intended mark. But coach Demitrice Williams-Elie’s club found the range just in time to pull off a dramatic 60-58 overtime victory in the LHSAA Class 4A state playoffs and advance to the second round. Woodlawn will now meet No. 1 seed Loranger, a 66-30 winner over Opelousas.
“I was very frustrated in the first half, but these girls don’t like losing,” Williams-Elie said. “We might have a bad quarter, or a bad half, but eventually they’re gonna give me what I’m looking for.”
It took a runner in the lane by Mary Caldwell and a free throw from Margo Pleze with 33 seconds remaining in overtime to allow the Lady Knights to win on their home court.
“We struggled in the first half, but we all came together as sisters and pulled this out,” Pleze said. “Even though it took overtime, we got the win.”
Bossier was hot from the outside from the outset with Destiny Thomas scoring 23 points and Kelsey Marshall adding 15. But Thomas and Chloe Walker fouled out in overtime, which cost their team a chance at the upset.
“Turnovers and the lack of senior leadership have been our problem all year,” Bossier coach DeShawn Williams said. “Hats off to them. But by our counting, both Destiny and Chloe should have still been in the game. We’re still young. We have everyone coming back.”
Though it didn’t look like they were going to in the first half, the Lady Knights finished with a trio of double-figure scorers in Pleze (16 points), Caldwell (11) and Ja’Neicia Kendrick (11).
They needed all those scorers and more when they trailed Bossier by 16 points with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Lady Knights still trailed 48-37 with just over 5 minutes left when Johnesha Wilson came alive with 7 consecutive points that started a 15-0 run putting Woodlawn in front 52-49 for the first time with 40 seconds remaining.
Then Marshall nailed a 3-pointer from the corner with 28 ticks left to tie the game before some sloppy play by both teams finished off regulation.
Bossier pushed ahead 58-54 early in OT before the Lady Knights took the lead on a Kendrick free throw with 1:22 remaining. Bossier had the ball with a chance to take the lead, but the game officials erroneously called a Woodlawn timeout with the Lady Bearkats in possession. Almost immediately after the in-bounds pass, Bossier turned it over and didn’t get another chance.