Lady Trojans motor past Sumner, face Christian Life in 2A rematch

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 24, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; For standout players like Monique Jones, it all comes with the territory.

Opposing coaches can spit out the star player’s number of fouls faster than they can say their mother’s name. The object is to get her in foul trouble, and the opposing crowd taunts and waves goodbye when she eventually does got to the bench.

But Jones’ situation is different. The Lady Trojans have a strong supporting cast, and they’re coming together at the right time.

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The Lady Trojans got key contributions from players besides Jones to take a 77-58 win over Jewel Sumner to advance in the Class 2A playoffs. The win puts them a win away from a return trip to the Sweet 16, but standing in their way is a foe that’s awfully familiar.

Ferriday will visit Christian Life, the same team that ended its season at the Sweet 16 a year ago.

&uot;Everybody wants to play Christian Life,&uot; said FHS guard LaShawnda Pryor, who along with Jones scored 24 points. &uot;When we go in there, we’ve got to set the tempo. That’s going to motivate us. Plus, this game determines if we go to the Sweet 16 or not. We’ve got to go over there, so we know we’re not going to get many calls. We’ve got to go in there and play hard.&uot;

Perhaps it was motivation against the Cowgirls Thursday as the Lady Trojans (32-0) put together one of their more complete games of the season. Jones was the subject of the Cowgirls’ defensive plan and eventually did sit in the fourth quarter with four fouls.

But by that time Ferriday owned a 19-point lead, and the others kept up the defensive pressure to not miss a beat.

&uot;When I’m on the floor, I’m in my own zone,&uot; Jones said. &uot;Nothing can distract me. I don’t worry about foul trouble. We’re on a mission, and everybody knows what that mission is. Defense wins ball games. Once you play defense, the offense will come to you.&uot;

The offense came to the Lady Trojans because of their defense against the Cowgirls. Although Sumner played strong the first half and trailed by just eight, the Lady Trojans put together a 13-5 run in the third quarter before getting the lead up to 20 midway through the fourth quarter.

&uot;The turnovers was what killed us,&uot; Sumner head coach Andre Pellerin said. &uot;I know we played them. The turnovers were a major factor. They’re comparable to Amite, and we’ve played them twice this year. We were prepared and knew what to do. In this type of situation and when the crowd got into it &045; they got that little spurt, and that deflated us right there.&uot;

The Lady Trojans stayed with the full-court press and took their first lead of more than 10 points when Jameca Garrison hit one of two free throws with 4:50 left in the third. Jones tossed in four straight free throws for a 48-35 lead, and RaShonda Leonard converted a layup with 1:55 left for a 50-36 lead.

Jones ended the quarter with a behind-the-back pass to Leonard, who layed it in for a 54-38 lead that stood until the fourth quarter.

&uot;It’s just time to play well,&uot; Ferriday head coach Lisa Abron said. &uot;We’re at home, and that has something to do with it &045; playing in front of the home crowd. I think we’re more determined than ever to get where we were last year. We want to beat Christian Life so bad. In the backs of their minds, they wanted to get this one over with to get Christian Life on Thursday.&uot;

The Lady Trojans did a better job of taking away Sumner’s inside game, although the tandem of Kalette Crawford and Charity Barnes combined for 37 points to lead the Cowgirls, including 14 of the team’s 19 points in the first quarter.

Crawford tossed in a basket with 4:57 left in the second to trim the lead to 27-25 before Ferriday ended the second quarter on a 10-4 run for a 37-29 lead at halftime.

&uot;That was our intention,&uot; Pellerin said. &uot;We were going to try to pack it inside and get as much as we could. Both girls are all-district performers. They’re both seniors, and that’s the sad thing.&uot;

But both post players scored just seven in the third quarter, and their eight points was the only Sumner scoring in almost the first four minutes of the fourth quarter as a Pryor bucket at the 4:55 mark put Ferriday’s lead at 65-46.

&uot;Their big girls gave us a couple of problems,&uot; Abron said. &uot;We let them get the ball, and we shouldn’t have let them do that, but it wasn’t enough for them to stay in the ball game. I expected them to not be as mobile as they were. They ran the floor well.&uot;