Lady Trojans put away Clinton in opener

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 20, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; Forget about all that clich garbage.

When the going gets tough for the Ferriday Lady Trojans, they pick up the pressure.

And that’s the honest truth.

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Trouble came in the form of a subpar second quarter where they held a one-point lead over wild card Clinton on two occasions, but a thunderous third quarter helped the Lady Trojans take a 65-39 bi-district playoff win over Clinton.

The Lady Trojans (31-0) now move on to face Ouachita Christian, a 55-52 winner over Jewel Sumner.

&uot;That’s what gets us going,&uot; said point guard LaShawnda Pryor, who shared the game-high honors of 20 points with Monique Jones. &uot;We just went over our mistakes and what we had to work on, and we went out and accomplished it. We got out of rhythm a little bit.&uot;

The third quarter was a buzzsaw for the Lady Trojans, who outscored Clinton 22-5 and finished the quarter on a 14-0 run to blow the game open.

Ferriday tweaked its press at the start of the second half, put more pressure on Clinton’s guards and put more emphasis on stopping the Lady Eagles’ post player down low.

&uot;We changed it up where we could have more pressure out front,&uot; Ferriday head coach Lisa Abron said. &uot;We noticed they couldn’t handle the ball that well. We wanted to switch the press on them, and that worked. We play best when we force them and make them turn the ball over. We took them out of their game, and they could never recover.&uot;

The adjustments paid off quick as Pryor put in a layup off a steal by Jameca Garrison to open the second half, and that sparked an 8-0 run that ended with Pryor scoring again off a steal for a 32-20 lead.

The Lady Eagles had turnover problems real quick after having just a handful in the first half.

&uot;The first half we did that, but the second half we didn’t,&uot; Clinton head coach Anthony Williams said. &uot;Not to take anything away from Ferriday, but we had a good game plan. We did a lot of things to hurt ourselves. That’s been our nemesis all year. We’ve got some good teams in our district, and a lot of times we did things ourselves that hurt us. We had one senior, and this was my first year. Starting tomorrow we’re working for next year.&uot;

The Lady Eagles (8-13) stopped the bleeding for a bit with a basket from Endrea Robinson and a 3-pointer from Shandolyn George to take the momentum a bit and trim the deficit to 32-25.

Jones then tossed in a bucket as the Lady Trojans really got rolling &045; a 14-0 run that included a 3-pointer from Garrison, a three-point play from Latasha Cain on a putback on her own miss and a bucket from Jones with 59 seconds left for a 46-25 Ferriday lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Clinton post girl Shareader Walker &045; the team’s lone senior &045; was held scoreless in the third and had just two in the fourth after scoring 12 in the first half and 10 in the second quarter.

&uot;With us applying pressure out front, they couldn’t get it out to her as easily,&uot; Abron said. &uot;I think we did an outstanding job of controlling the boards. That’s something we haven’t done lately. We did a much better job of rebounding and boxing out. In the second half we always play better.&uot;

The second quarter gave the Lady Trojans problems as Clinton scored 12 straight points from the end of the first quarter to past the midway point of the second. Ferriday jumped out to a 17-4 lead, but Clinton got two free throws from Walker at the 3:56 mark to put the Lady Trojans’ lead at 17-16.

&uot;We knew about her, but we didn’t make the adjustments right away,&uot; Abron said of Walker. &uot;I don’t know if (we) were confused on the rotations or what. We went to a 1-3-1 and put a person in front and a person in back. It took her off the block. When she got out on the block, it was going in. We took her off the block, and she had to work for her shot. She’s their main offense.&uot;

Jones scored Ferriday’s first basket of the quarter with 3:25 left, but Walker scored again to put the score at 19-18. Jones then drained a 3-pointer before Pryor tossed in a basket with 1:28 left for a 24-18 lead.

Clinton, however, got a basket from Robinson with a second left to take some momentum into the locker room.

&uot;Coming in my game plan was to slow the game down and make them play at our game, and we did that in the first half,&uot; Williams said. &uot;We took Shareader away. We went away from what was successful for us.&uot;