Late-season collapse dooms Ferriday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 5, 2006


&8212; When Ferriday reeled off 21 victories to start the season, a postseason berth appeared all but assured.

Not anymore.

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The Lady Trojans dropped their fourth straight game on Friday night as Lake Providence earned a 57-39 victory, and the loss all but eliminated Ferriday from the playoff picture.

&8220;When it counted the most, that&8217;s when we started losing,&8221; Ferriday coach Lisa Abron said.

Having already dropped two district games, Ferriday needed to win its final three district contests to earn a playoff spot.

That goal all but evaporated Friday when Lake Providence went on a 23-2 run that spanned the first and second quarters. Ferriday was scoreless for 8:10 &8212; the equivalent of more than a quarter of play.

&8220;It was just one of those nights,&8221; Abron said. &8220;We couldn&8217;t make shots, we didn&8217;t play defense and we didn&8217;t box out.

&8220;Once you get behind a good team like that, it&8217;s so hard to get back in the game.&8221;

Ferriday (21-4 overall, 2-3 in District 4-2A) scored the game&8217;s opening bucket with 6:42 to go in the first quarter, but the Lady Trojans didn&8217;t score again until Ronesha Charles hit a 3-pointer with 5:22 remaining in the first half. The scoring drought allowed Lake Providence (19-4, 5-0) to build a 19-point lead.

Lake Providence coach Ruth Jackson attributed her team&8217;s early dominance to strong defense. The Lady Panthers wanted to play a collapsing zone to keep the ball away from Ferriday center Jasmine Upchurch.

As the Lake Providence defense sagged into the lane, Ferriday took jumper after jumper. And the Lady Trojans missed jumper after jumper.

&8220;We were down, and for some reason, they just tried to shoot our way back in it. That&8217;s not what we wanted to do,&8221; Abron said. &8220;That&8217;s what they wanted us to do.&8221;

Ferriday must now get plenty of help to advance to the postseason. The Lady Trojans must defeat Madison, and winless Vidalia must defeat Madison for Ferriday to earn a playoff berth. The only other way would be to receive a wildcard.

&8220;Now we&8217;ve got to pray and hope somebody gives us a wildcard,&8221; Abron said.

Regina Craten led Lake Providence with 21 points, and Freda Allen added 12 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks. Upchurch paced Ferriday with 13 points and 10 rebounds.