Monterey girls return to playoffs; Block plays Friday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 1, 2006

MONTEREY &8212; That&8217;s the thing with coin flips &8212; the only way to really develop a system is to pull out one of those special coins.

It was all up in the air for Monterey&8217;s Lady Wolves when it came down to breaking a three-way tie for first place in District 3-B. Everyone landed on heads the first time, but the second flip had Monterey playing Epps and the winner facing Kilbourne.

Monterey lost Saturday to Epps and enters the LHSAA Class B playoffs as the No. 3 seed out of the district. It could have easily gone another way, but they&8217;ll take it and play tonight at Fairview in the first round for their second straight trip to the playoffs.

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Tipoff is at 6:30 p.m. at the rural school in Allen Parish.

&8220;That&8217;s the way it goes,&8221; Monterey head coach Cary Shively said of the tie-breaker. &8220;We got off to a slow start (against Epps), but actually the next three quarters we got ourselves back in the game. I think we&8217;re a little more mature now (than last season) and know a little more of what to expect. We had a good week of practice, and hopefully we&8217;ll be ready to play.&8221;

It&8217;s Monterey&8217;s second straight year in the postseason, but the draw doesn&8217;t get any tougher than against the Lady Panthers, who won the Class C state championship last year. Gone from that team is guard Courtnee Hollins, the state&8217;s Miss Basketball who is now suiting up for McNeese State.

The Lady Panthers won their district, and Monterey hopes to slow down a team that&8217;s made its mark this season by running the floor and putting pressure on the opposition.

&8220;They&8217;re not any bigger than us,&8221; Shively said. &8220;We&8217;re going to match up OK size-wise. Their game is run and gun, and that&8217;ll be a little different for us. We haven&8217;t played anybody to run and gun since before Christmas.&8221;

The Lady Wolves will try and slow them down into a half-court game with Lakasha Finley and Brittany Woodruff inside along with Melissa Simpson. The three can give matchup problems for many teams in Class B &8212; just don&8217;t count on many teams having a girl as big as 6-4 Jacqueline McDowell at Epps.

&8220;I&8217;ve had all of them playing fairly well,&8221; Shively said. &8220;It seems like different people have stepped up. All of them have stepped up at different times. This is a pretty unselfish team. They find the open man, and the open man can put the ball in the hole.&8221;

Block at Hamilton Christian

JONESVILLE &8212; The Lady Bears are back in the playoffs after last year&8217;s absence, and they&8217;ll try to go on the road Friday and try their chances on the other side of the state.

Tipoff is at 7 p.m. in Lake Charles.

The Lady Bears ended up the district season playing well despite two losses to district champ Montgomery. The score in the second game was more respectable.

&8220;They&8217;re down in district, but we expected a battle for first,&8221; Block head coach Carl Gilmore said. &8220;We lost those two games with Montgomery. But overall, we tried and we feel pretty confident going playing Hamilton Christian that we can play with them.&8221;