Free throw gives EI share of 9-A girls’ hoop crown Friday

Tryve Brackin
VETERAN LEADERS…East Iberville High’s veteran starters and leading scorers Claudia Tasker, left, and Dionickka Calloway, right, did their part in leading the Lady Tigers to a share of the District 9-A hoop title with Ascension CHS last week.

A free throw by a first-year varsity seventh grade Kirsten Oubre gave East Iberville High a share of the District 9-A girls’ basketball title Friday night.

Oubre, an East Side Math, Science, and Arts Academy student eligible to play for EIHS via La. High School Athletic Assn. ruling, sank the back end of a bonus opportunity at the free throw line with seconds left to send the Lady Tigers to a 57-56 victory over hosting White Castle.

The Friday night road victory, coupled with the forfeit of a first-round victory by West St. John High, enabled the EI girls to tie for first-place honors with Ascension CHS, which held sole possession of the lead until a loss the same evening. Both teams closed out their 9-A slates with 6-2 records. A special playoff tiebreaker game was played Monday (after article deadline) at Plaquemine High between EI and ACHS to determine playoff seeding.

East helped its cause earlier in the week by pinning the initial district loss on ACHS. The Lady Tigers topped the previously unbeaten Lady Bulldogs by a 48-39 score in St. Gabriel Tuesday of last week.

In the meantime, two other Iberville Parish girls’ teams finished in a two-way tie for second place in the league. While WCHS fell to 4-4 in district play with the narrow loss to East, North Iberville turned the tables on ACHS, taking a 55-44 victory. NIHS’ win dipped ACHS to 6-2 and forced them to share bragging rights with East Iberville. North moved into a second-place tie with WCHS with a final 4-4 league showing.

EIHS-WCHS: “It all fell right into place for us. We picked up the forfeit from West St. John and then we beat White Castle at the same time North was beating Ascension,” commented victorious EIHS mentor Demetrius Franklin.

“We had Kirsten at the free throw line and she missed that first shot. I called a timeout and we just gathered by the bench and no one said a thing. I didn’t tell Kirsten anything. We just stood there, took a break, and then she went out their a sank that shot. The White Castle gym was as noisy as it always is. Kirsten completely missed the rim on her first shot. I just wanted to give her a little bit of quiet before she went back to the line. She sank it!” exclaimed Coach Franklin.

The East Iberville coach admitted that had the game gone into overtime his girls would have likely lost the game.

“The two Taskers (Claudia and Yolisha) had fouled out and (Dionickka) Calloway had four fouls on her. I could easily see White Castle overtaking us in the overtime period. But, thanks to Kirsten, it never went that far,” said Franklin.

Calloway, a veteran Lady Tiger varsity play since her middle school days, finished the contest with a game-high 20 points. Claudia Tasker added a solid 14 points, while Jalaycia Mills netted 9 and Yolisha Tasker 7 points. Tamisha Cummings hit 5, while Oubre had a pair for the 11-11 overall Lady Tigers.

Bryanshel Gibson led the way for the 12-10 WCHS Lady Bulldogs with 18 points, while Meeker Melancon tallied 14. Shelby Martin netted 7, while Angela Brown and Ronquel Gibson scored 6 apiece. Simone Beauvais and Tyrenee Foster combined for 5 more WCHS points.

NIHS-ACHS: The 14-11 Lady Bears closed out their district season with a 4-4 mark, tying White Castle for second in the 9-A, while 16-8 ACHS suffered its second-straight district loss and was forced to share the league title due to the 55-44 loss to NI Friday night.

The hosting Lady Bears were not to be denied a final shot at district glory as they turned in first-half scoring margins of 12-3 and 12-8 over the once league-dominant Donaldsonville Catholics. ACHS made a second-half run, but a 33-31 scoring edge was not enough to overcome the huge NIHS first-half advantage.

Kadijah Mims had an outstanding offensive game to lead the NIHS girls to victory. She netted a game-high 24 points and no ACHS player came close to her in scoring dominance. Backing Mims was senior Shannon West with 10 points, while Brandi Wise added 6, Niketra Beraud 5, Tamaikica Dorsey 4, Raven Williams 2, and Audrey Marshall 2 points. Alison Falcon paced ACHS with 14 points.

EIHS-ACHS: The Lady Tigers proved it was no fluke they would challenge ACHS for the crown earlier in the week when they pinned a first league loss on the visiting Lady Bulldogs with a decisive 48-39 victory.

A first-round road loss to ACHS was a key to Coach Franklin rallying his girls back into the race in the second round.

“I pointed out a lot of things we were doing wrong, especially trying to shoot outside jumpers instead of using our athleticism to drive the ball to the hoop. The girls bought into it and a victory over White Castle in our first home game was the turning point to our district play,” explained Coach Franklin.