Lady Trojans heat things up for playoffs

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 23, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; To paraphrase the Grammyized rapper Nelly, it’s getting hot in Ferriday.

Sure today’s 7 p.m. Jewel Sumner matchup marks just the regional round of this year’s girls’ playoffs.

However, to see how intense and demanding the Lady Trojans (31-0) practiced on Sunday, one might believe a state championship was on the line.

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&uot;Each game is as important than the last. We’re not taking anybody for granted,&uot; Ferriday head coach Lisa Abron said. &uot;The seniors let everybody know that they’re not going to let anyone stop them from a state championship.

&uot;This is their last chance and the year to do it.&uot;

Ferriday faces a Cowgirl (21-6) team that finished as the runner-up in district 8-2A and nipped Ouachita Christian, 55-52, in the bi-district playoffs last Thursday.

The Lady Trojans knocked off Clinton, 65-39, to advance.

From viewing tape, Abron can see Jewel Sumner has two 6-footers who have given teams problems this season.

But, she also recognizes that the Kentwood team hates to run, which plays into the hands of the Lady Trojans, who are nothing short of light speed.

&uot;I’m sure they’ll try to slow us down, but we plan on running them to death,&uot; Abron said. &uot;If we can maintain an advantage on the boards, we’ll have a good shot at winning.&uot;

Without an affinity of running and a void of good ballhandlers, Ferriday expects its full-court press defense to drive the Cowgirls’ bonkers.

In an undefeated season, Monique Jones’ explosive scoring nights have certainly given Concordia Parish something to talk about.

But she has not been alone in the wins. A supporting cast of LaShawnda Pryor, Latasha Cain and RaShonda Leonard &045; all seniors &045; have helped lead a charge back to the playoffs after last season’s 25-4 and semifinal finish.

&uot;If (Jewel Sumner) has asked around about us &045; and I’m sure they have &045; they might try to double up on Monique,&uot; Abron said. &uot;But we have offenses to get the ball to her, plus we’re full of players who are ready to step up.

&uot;It’s gut-check time and we can’t rely on just one from here on out.&uot;

Abron said she and her coaching staff do not emphasize one game more than the other when the postseason gets here.

Each contest holds the same significance because a loss and the season is over; keep on winning and the goal set out before the season started will be reached.

&uot;We’re trying not to look ahead and we remain focused on the presence,&uot; Abron said. &uot;Everybody is fired up and they’re is no stopping us at this point.&uot;


JONESVILLE, La. &045; With last Thursday’s impressive 13-point win, 55-42, over Dunham the Lady Bears (18-7) get a chance tonight at 7 p.m. to host a regional playoff game.

Unfortunately, Block welcomes in a East Beauregard (25-5) squad that finished undefeated (11-0) this year in district 5-1A.

The Lady Bears, 4-1A’s runner-up to Newellton will depend on the scoring exploits of guard Dani McMillian and role players such as Catessa Branch and Shanira Wilkerson in order to advance past the Lady Trojans.