White Castle girls establish themselves in 8-A hoop race

Tryve Brackin

White Castle High’s Lady Bulldogs established themselves as a major force in the District 8-A girls’ basketball race last week by taking a pair of key victories on the hardwood.

Coach Tammy Washington-Pierce’s Class 1-A ninth-ranked Bulldogs upped their season mark to 10-4 and their district showing to 5-0 with big victories over East Iberville High Friday night in St. Gabriel and a 46-42 triumph over visiting West St. John earlier in the week.

Here is a round up of league action last week:

WCHS 59, EIHS 31:

The Lady Bulldogs turned back an improving EIHS host team Friday night with a strong second-half showing to win their fifth league game without a loss.

WhiteCastlegot off to a good 18-5 start in the initial period, but made mistakes that let the hosting Lady Tigers catch up a bit in the second period. The second half, however, belonged to the ninth-ranked WC girls as they put together quarter margins of 20-9 and 14-8 to cruise to an easy victory.

The Lady Bulldog defense did a good job of frustrating EI standout offensive leader Jalyacia Mills, holding her to 10 points. Key to the showing was veteran WCHS inside standout Bryanshel Gibson, who led the Bulldogs with 17 points and dominated the boards. Skylar O’Bear continued to be a spark out at the guard postion for the WC club as she bagged 11 points. Laura Starks added 9 points, while Shylar O’Bear hit 7 and Tyrenee Foster 6 points. Ronquel Gibson and Erica Jones also played solid ball for the WCHS girls. Gibson, a veteran like her sister Bryanshel, played only limited time due to problems with her longtime knee injury.

Backing Mills’ 10-point effort for the young Lady Tiger hostesses was Kristein Oubre with 8 points, Chauncie LaCour with 5, Kaitlyn Knight with 4, and Ariel Fuller with 3 points for the 1-3 EIHS club.

First-year EIHS mentor Amy Blanchard, who came to St. Gabriel after rebuilding the St. James High girls’ hoop program, noted: “Our young team has shown improvement against a very tough schedule this season, but we still have a lot more work ahead of us.”

Coach Washington-Pierce commented: “It is always a big victory for us when we can win at East Iberville. They always play us tough and we have lost some here in this gym.”

WCHS 46, WSJHS 42:

The hosting Lady Bulldogs moved to 4-0 in district basketball play early last week with a 46-42 victory over visiting rival West St. John High.

The WCHS girls played a steady game throughout as veteran Gibson won a key battle in the scoring column over Lady Ram Jeanna Gordon. Gibson led the way for the Lady Bulldogs with 18 points, while West St. John’s Gordon was held below her average with 14 for the evening.

Skylar O’Bear and Ronquel Gibson tallied 9 and 8 points, respectively for White Castle, while Jones added 6. Three other WCHS girls combined for an additional 5 points.

The Lady Bulldogs moved to 9-4 overall with the victory.

SJHS FALLS TO WSJHS:

St. John High fell to 2-3 in District 8-A girls’ basketball Friday night with a loss to West St. John High on the road.

Coach Vincent Argrave was so upset with the defeat, he could not remember the final score in a Saturday interview.

“It was a road game that got away from us. We were in it with four minutes left and could not pull it off,” noted the Lady Eagle mentor.

Argrave said Alexis Ledet had a solid effort at the center position for the SJHS club, while Shelbi Strickland played well out at the guard position for the 10-11 overall locals.

SJHS 39, ASCENSION CHRISTIAN 18:

The Lady Eagles of St. John boosted their district mark to 2-2 early last week with a 21-point romp over visiting Ascension Christian of Gonzales.

The St. John girls evened up their overall record with the victory as well. They moved to 10-10 on the hardwood with the early week win.

The Plaquemine club rolled up quarter margins of 11-2, 11-6, and 13-6 over the first three periods to win with ease.

Jessie Brown paced the Eagles with a game-high 17 points as she bombed the hoops for four baskets from 3-point range. The duo of Kaycie Hudson and Strickland netted 8 apiece, while a trio of Lady Eagles combined for 6 more points. No one in the Ascension Christian lineup tallied in double figures.

ACHS 57, EIHS 48:

East Iberville’s young hoop club slipped to 1-2 in district play and to 2-15 overall early last week with a nine-point road loss to ACHS’ girls.

The Lady Tigers fell behind 19-6 in the first period, and, despite a gallant try, could never catch up with the hosting Donaldsonville hostesses.

The EI girls played even in the second period and cut into the ACHS lead in the second half with period margins of 14-11 and 13-12, but fell short of victory.

Mills continued to score in the twenties to lead the EIHS offense in recent league games as she popped in a game-high 21 points. Knight backed Mills with 8 points, while LaCour and Oubre tallied 7 apiece. Three other Lady Tigers combined for 12 more points.