A place to start: Ferriday opens postseason with win over Pickering, 62-39

Published 12:15 am Saturday, February 24, 2018

A quick beginning to Friday night’s LHSAA Class 2A bi-district round playoff game led No. 10 Ferriday High School into a comfortable lead over No. 23 Pickering.

Having never lost the edge, the Trojans cruised into the Regional Round, 62-39.

“We started out making some nice shots and really came out energized,” Ferriday coach K.G. Watkins said. “That was a good thing.”

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Ferriday bounced out and took advantage of Pickering’s early miscues, forcing a handful of easy steals. It led at the end of first quarter, 19-6.

“In the first quarter, they expended more energy than they have in a long time,” Watkins said.

Despite the fast-paced start, the Trojans had hiccups of their own. Guard Marquell Griffin suffered an ankle injury during the second quarter. While he sat out the remainder of the game, Griffin still finished second in scoring for Ferriday with 13 points beside three others in double digits.

“That could be big,” Watkins said.

Watkins also said he wasn’t too happy with how his team played after it secured a strong lead, urging them to hold onto its energy rather than slowing down.

Montrieze Sandage finished with 15 points to lead Ferriday, as Jer’Lyric Brooks added 12 of his own and Curtis Collins had another 11 points.

“We started to settle,” Watkins said. “We weren’t aggressive anymore. Defensively, we just backed out and they got too many opportunities on second and third chances we really shouldn’t have given up.

“Really, I thought we shot the ball horribly. At some point we are going to have to understand how to put people away. We just let people come back.”

Though Watkins said there is always room for improvement, Friday gave the Trojans a place to start. Moving forward, he is prepared to make adjustments.

“We now get a chance to get in the gym over the weekend and fix some mistakes,” he said. “We get to look at whoever we are going to play.”

With one player possibly out, Watkins said he is especially going to watch the rotation.

“Our biggest problem is that we just don’t have a lot of depth,” he said. “If (Griffin) can (play), we will just have to figure out where to put him where he can be utilized to whatever capacity he can be. We can put the ball in a couple of other guy’s hands to bring it down the floor, we just need to move him around and protect him.”

Ferriday will either play next on Monday or Tuesday on the road against No. 7 seed West St. Mary who defeated General Trass Friday night, 61-44.