Lady Trojans survive

Published 12:41 am Saturday, December 22, 2007

RAYVILLE, La. — Ferriday Lady Trojans head coach Lisa Abron said that she doesn’t like to play during the holidays because her players have something other than basketball on their minds.

On Friday night in the semifinals of the Rayville Tournament, that statement almost proved to be true. Yet Ferriday managed to pull out a dramatic 52-50 win over Lake Providence.

“I don’t know how we won that game,” Abron said. “In order for us to be successful, we’ve got to get down to business. We played hard.”

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Ferriday won the game when Ja’Lessia Davis, who scored seven points, grabbed a rebound and made the game-winning shot with about five seconds remaining. Jasmine Upchurch led the Lady Trojans with 17 points and Chante Poole had 16 points.

Ferriday got off to a slow start on the offensive end and trailed Lake Providence 10-9 at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Trojans looked like they were well on their way to a big win when they outscored the Lady Panthers 18-10 in the second quarter to take a 27-20 halftime lead.

“The first thing that happened was that Deonka Birdon got in early foul trouble,” Abron said. “I had to replace her with an inexperienced person. Second thing was we didn’t rebound. They got too many second and third shots.”

But the Lady Panthers, led by Larrimi Williams and Tiffany Willis, came out firing in the third quarter while the Lady Trojans played with no sense of urgency and were outscored 19-10 to trail 39-37 at the end of the quarter. Williams finished with 17 points and Willis added 16 points.

Ferriday (16-3) will take on a team to be determined in the girls’ championship game today at 6 p.m. Vidalia will take on the winner of the Rayville-Franklin Parish game in the other semifinal today at 3 p.m.

“We just came out cold,” Abron said. “They scored three of four straight buckets and they grabbed the momentum. We just sat there and watched them. We played no defense.”

But Ferriday regained its intensity and its focus, holding Lake Providence to 11 points in the fourth quarter while scoring 15 of its own to pull out the win.

In another game involving a local team in this tournament, the Vidalia Vikings will take on the winner of the Delhi-Mangham today at 4:30 p.m. with the winner of that game advancing to the boys’ championship game at 7:30 p.m.

Jefferson County boys 71, Franklin County 49

FAYETTE — After being held under 20 points in the last two games, Kadon Day made his presence felt Friday night as he led Jefferson County with 29 points as the Tigers defeated the Bulldogs in a Region 7-3A game.

Percy Turner scored 21 points for Jefferson County, which improved to 9-8 overall and 2-1 in region play. The Tigers used a strong defensive effort to take a 34-19 halftime lead and they never looked back.

Jamie Collins was the only Franklin County player to score in double figures as he led the Bulldogs with 20 points. Jarvis King and Jason Hunt each had six points.

Greenville-Weston boys 52, Natchez High 47

NATCHEZ — In perhaps the worst first half in the Mike Martin era at Natchez High, the Bulldogs scored just nine points. Then they ran out of time as they attempted a fourth-quarter rally.

Despite scoring just five points in the first quarter, Natchez High (8-6) actually led Greenville-Weston 5-4 at the end of the quarter. But the Hornets couldn’t be stopped during the second and third quarters as they would lead 23-9 at halftime and 43-27 by the end of the third quarter.

The Bulldogs tried furiously to win the game in the fourth quarter, but the Hornets held on despite being outscored 20-9. Kendall Logan and Dwong Hughes led Natchez High with 13 points each while A. Richardson led Greenville-Weston with 17 points.

In the varsity girls game, Natchez High defeated Greenville-Weston to improve to 14-0.

Tallulah Academy girls 42, Tensas Academy 30

TALLULAH, La. — Mary Beth Givens scored a game-high 14 points and Katherine Sue Post had 12 points as the Lady Trojans defeated the Lady Chiefs Friday night in MPSA District 6-A action.

Tensas (6-8 overall; no district record given) trailed by just three points at the end of the first quarter, but the second quarter proved to be the difference as Tallulah held Tensas to just four points en route to a 22-13 halftime lead.

Jordan Leake led the Lady Chiefs with 12 points and Mary Miller Ratcliff added 10 points.