Lady Trojans avoid playoff upset

Published 12:03 am Friday, February 20, 2009

FERRIDAY — After one half, it appeared the No. 4-seed Ferriday girls basketball team had seriously underestimated No. 29-seed Lakeview.

But the Lady Trojans’ second half of play put away any questions of an upset as Ferriday won 51-36 in the first round of the LHSAA 2A State Playoffs Thursday.

After taking a quick 8-2 lead, the Lady Trojans struggled to put the ball in the net and the Lady Gators went on a 13-0 run.

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Ferriday went nearly five minutes without scoring in the first quarter, until Chanta Poole sank two free throws.

The second quarter was no better for the Lady Trojans as they bricked multiple shots from the perimeter and rarely got into the lane.

Ferriday was down 26-18 at the half.

“It definitely was a real tough first half,” Ferriday coach Lisa Abron said. “I think they might have played this team a little light, like they weren’t going to be about nothing. But they definitely proved us wrong.”

The Lady Trojans shot 12 times from the 3-point line in the first half, sinking only two.

They only took four shots outside the arc in the second half, and missed all of them.

But in the second half Ferriday turned up the heat on defense, scrambling for the ball and forcing steals.

“We came out flat in the first half, but in the second half we definitely turned it up on the defensive end,” Abron said. “We switched to man-to-man defense, and we kind of rattled them a little bit.”

Lakeview only scored five points each in the third and fourth quarters, and the rebounds they had been getting in the first half finally stopped falling into the Lady Gators’ hands.

The shots started dropping for the Lady Trojans, too, as Ferriday finally started driving to the basket.

“We wanted to get Jasmine (Upchurch) some more inside looks in the first half, but we were having trouble with the flash pass inside,” Abron said. “But in the second half we went back to the inside shooting game, and it finally worked. We spread the floor a little more and got Jasmine some one-on-one looks. She got some good shots in there.”

Upchurch finished with 17 points to lead Ferriday’s scorers, and Poole added 10 points.

Ferriday put up 15 points in the third quarter, finally taking the lead with five seconds left on the clock. They took off from there with 18 points in the final eight minutes.

Rachel Saragusa scored 11 points to lead Lakeview. India Harvey scored 10.

“This was a hustling, aggressive, antsy team,” Abron said of the Lady Gators. “They had nothing to lose, really. They came out here trying to be the spoiler team.”

Ferriday will play No. 13 seed Westminster in the second round on Monday.