Lady Trojans kick it up a notch in second half to put away Crowville

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 25, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; Those Ferriday Lady Trojans haven’t gotten off to their 24-0 start by simply watching the paint dry.

They bring pressure defense and an up-tempo style, and they had to bring it in the second half against Crowville to take a 52-39 win in District 3-2A action Friday night at the Ferriday gym.

Crowville made things interesting by tying the game up at halftime courtesy of its stall tactic, but the Lady Trojans brought the pressure in the second half to pull away.

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&uot;I wasn’t expecting that (stall) &045; I really wasn’t,&uot; Ferriday head coach Lisa Abron said. &uot;These girls have been playing together since the ninth grade, and we’ve been running the same presses since the ninth grade. I guess people are doing their homework on us. They were ready for us. I didn’t think their coach would do her homework on us, but I guess she did. We’re more up tempo &045; we like to run.&uot;

The Lady Trojans (24-0, 3-0) did more of that in the second half and set the tempo by going back to their old 1-2-1-1 full-court press after starting out in their 1-3-1 press. After the game was tied at 19 at halftime, the Lady Trojans scored seven straight points in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the third before Crowville took a shot.

&uot;We just talked it over a little bit,&uot; said point guard LaShawnda Pryor, who had eight of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. &uot;We had to make up for our mistakes in the first half. We came out really playing defense, and they were playing slow ball. We had to get the tempo up, and we got readjusted at halftime.&uot;

Pryor, Latasha Cain and Jameca Garrison were part of the top of the press that gave Crowville problems in the second half. Cain’s bucket at the 5:48 mark capped the 7-0 run for a 26-19 lead. The Lady Bulldogs (16-10, 2-2) got two baskets from Keisha Jones sandwiched around a Monique Jones basket to put the deficit at 28-23 with 4:37 left.

Pryor then converted on a huge three-point play that put the lead at 31-23 with 4:14 left.

&uot;We came out ready to play,&uot; Crowville head coach Janie Cagle said. &uot;They came out a little more aggressive in the second half. Really and truly, I’m very proud of them. We just came off a really hard loss. We lost to Rayville, and we could have beaten them by 20 points. They just lost their heads. I’m really pleased with their peformance tonight.&uot;

Crowville trimmed it down to twice at the start of the fourth quarter before Ferriday started to pull away. Jones hit a 3-pointer with 6:13 left and followed with a coast-to-coast layup 21 seconds later for a 44-32 Ferriday lead.

Cain hit a basket at the 3:53 mark for a 46-32 lead.

Jones finished with a game-high 24 points.

&uot;We changed defenses,&uot; Abron said. &uot;They ran right through our press. We switched back to our 1-2-1-1 press. That kind of made them pick it up. That made the difference. They tried to go inside to the big girl, but they didn’t go inside to her much &045; not at all. They were looking to get the outside shot. I knew they had the little (Shirley) girl from outside. She basically kept them in the game.&uot;

Shirley hit six of her nine points in the second quarter as the Lady Bulldogs used the stall to stay in the game. Crowville did it from the start, holding on to the ball in the first three minutes without shooting the ball.

Garrison scored the game’s first points almost halfway into the first quarter.

&uot;That was our plan,&uot; Cagle said. &uot;When you have a shooting team or a running team like Ferriday, what’s going to frustrate them? When they don’t have the ball, they can’t score.&uot;

How slow did it get? Besides the obvious taunts from fans to shoot the ball, the slow tempo kept the Lady Trojans from establishing anything fluid.

Crowville trailed 8-7 after one and took an 11-10 lead at the 5:53 mark on a basket from Shirley.

&uot;We were kind of over-playing and anxious to get to the ball,&uot; Abron said. &uot;We started over-playing, and you can’t over-play in a zone defense like that. That’s exactly what they wanted us to do. It’s what we always say &045; don’t gamble &045; and we fell for it in the first half.

&uot;I think we broke down mentally in the first half. Everybody started pointing fingers in the first half. I hadn’t seen that all year. Maybe that was good to get it out of our system.&uot;

Ferriday boys 78, Crowville 52

On paper the Trojans might be able to breathe a little easier as they notched their first 3-2A win Friday over the Bulldogs.

But no one is even thinking complacency yet.

The Trojans (10-12, 1-2) have a tough week ahead of them two big district games ahead.

&uot;We can’t afford to breathe easier,&uot; Ferriday head coach James Davis said. &uot;We’ve got a tough game Tuesday against McCall, and Friday we’ve got Vidalia. We’re fighting to get back in the race for district.&uot;

The Trojans jumped out to a 24-12 lead over the Bulldogs before taking a 39-25 halftime lead. Crowville cut the lead to 43-32 at the 4:17 mark in the third quarter on a basket from Darius Hicks, but the Trojans answered with two free throws from LaKendrick Nix and a bucket from Ladrian Davis for a 15-point lead.

Nix hit a basket at the 6:04 mark in the fourth for a 61-41 lead.

Nix and Ladrian Davis combined for 61 points &045; Davis with 32 and Nix with 29.