Young Trojans struggle

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, November 23, 2011

FERRIDAY — With one of the youngest teams head coach Lisa Abron has ever had in her tenure at Ferriday High School, winning games could be a tough task this season for the Lady Trojans.

In the regular-season opener against Tensas Parish Tuesday night, Ferriday had a tough time just getting the ball across midcourt, let alone having clean looks at the basket against the Lady Panthers’ defense for much of the ball game.

And if that wasn’t enough, five Tensas Parish players scored in double figures as the Lady Panthers routed the Lady Trojans 70-35.

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“We’re a brand new team this year. I have two players returning. They’re very young and inexperienced,” Abron said. “I saw a few good spots during the game. But we turned the ball over way too much, which is what I expected considering we have a lot of freshmen and sophomores.”

The first quarter of this game was a perfect example of Tensas Parish’s experience and tenacious press defense against Ferriday’s talented yet young players. The Lady Panthers forced several turnovers throughout the opening quarter and that led to some easy short jumpers and lay-ups. By the time the quarter was over, the Lady Panthers led the Lady Trojans 20-6.

That was just the beginning of a long Tuesday night for Ferriday (0-1) against that kind of defense.

“Tensas (Parish) pressed us just about the whole ball game. They knew we had week ball handling. One of our ball handlers is our point guard, Sha’Keria Kelly. They took advantage of that. They put some pressure on her,” Abron said.

Kelly finished with 11 points and Trenace Morgan led Ferriday with 12 points and MeElle Reed added eight points.

The Lady Panthers (2-0) outscored the Lady Trojans 25-10 in the second quarter for a commanding 45-16 halftime lead. Ferriday did play better in the second half despite being outscored by Tensas Parish 16-12 in the third quarter and 9-7 in the fourth quarter.

“We have to keep working on everything and we have to be more patient. We have to find the right chemistry and work better on defense,” Abron said. “We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores and just one senior. MeElle is only in her second year ever playing organized basketball. I was pleased that they never gave up and kept playing hard.”

Helena Hill led Tensas Parish with a game-high 19 points and Cheyenne South finished with 13 points. Erin Fry added 11 points while Mary Jones and Daricka James had 10 points each.

Ferriday boys 83, Tensas Parish 69

FERRIDAY — Ted’Rai Gullage had 19 points and Freddie Gray scored 15 points to lead four Ferriday players in double figures as the Trojans overcame a big game by Tensas Parish’s Arthur Gray to defeat the Panthers Tuesday night.

The game was tied at 33-33 at halftime before Ferriday broke the game open by converting turnovers in transition baskets during the third quarter. The Trojans ended up 24 points while holding the Panthers to a mere seven points.

“It was neck and neck at halftime. We came out of the half and we applied more pressure on the ball. We were able to get out in transition and get some easy lay-ups,” Ferriday head coach James Davis said. “They went to a 2-3 zone and we started knocking down some 3s. Freddie shot the ball pretty well.”

As a team, the Trojans (1-0) made four three-pointers and converted several three-point plays. Charles Chandler finished with 14 points and Brandon Scott added 10 points.

For Tensas Parish, Arthur Gray’s 30-point performance was not enough to offset Ferriday’s balanced scoring attack. The Panthers also got 15 points from Andre Watkins.

After keeping the Panthers in check in the third quarter, the Trojans gave up 29 points in the fourth quarter. Thankfully for the home team, they scored 26 points themselves.

“The biggest thing for us is we’ve got to stay consistent on both ends of the floor,” Davis said.

Ferriday will play host to Natchez High on Tuesday, Nov. 29.