Lady Tigers rally, hold off White Castle

PETER SILAS PASQUA news@postsouth.com
East Iberville’s Chelsea Green gathers a rebound ahead of White Castle’s Alaina Williams and Blessing Franklin and teammate Ja’Laycia Mills in the Lady Tigers’ 51-50 District 9-1A victory on Tuesday night. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

ST. GABRIEL – East Iberville outscored White Castle by 11 points in the third quarter to erase a nine-point halftime deficit before barely escaping with a 51-50 District 9-1A opening round finale victory on Tuesday night to move into second-place in league standings.

The Lady Tigers (13-13, 4-2), under coach Cormanda Grace-Green, fell to LSWA No. 1 ranked West St. John (22-1, 6-0) 61-52 on Friday night in Edgard after losing 67-35 to the Lady Rams earlier in the season and are No. 10 in unofficial Class 1A power rankings. East Iberville hosted Ascension Catholic on Monday night before hosting Ascension Christian on Friday night and traveling to St. John of Plaquemine on Tuesday night.

East Iberville's Ja'Laycia Mills (17 points) and Jasmine Mosby (14) countered White Castle's twins Shylar O'Bear (17) and Skylar O'Bear (14) to lead the scoring ranks.

"We came out very sluggish and slow but came back out in the second half on fire," Grace-Green said. "We started rebounding and closing out like we are supposed to. Mills and Mosby had a big game for us on the inside finishing and we played well defensively.

"Free throws killed us. We missed eight free throws in the last two minutes of the game. We had a chance to put the game away and could not knock those free throws.

The Lady Bulldogs (13-12, 4-2), under coach Tammy Washington-Pierce, rebounded to defeat Ascension Christian 65-33 on Friday night and move to No. 9 in unofficial power rankings while remaining in second-place contention. White Castle hosted St. John on Monday night before traveling to Ascension Catholic on Friday night and West St. John on Tuesday night.

"They have a little more experience and depth," Washington-Pierce said. "I think it would have been a little different if we would have boxed out and played more aggressive. We got out hustled and out rebounded in the second half.

"We came out flat and allowed them to get back into the game. That built their confidence up and we just didn't have the experience that her bench does."

Alaina Williams added 12 for the Lady Bulldogs while Chelsea Green provided eight, Kirstein Oubre and Taylor Green each four and Ariel Fuller and Kaitlyn Knight each two for the Lady Tigers. Erica Jones had four and Blessing Franklin three for White Castle.

Skylar O'Bear connected on a long jumper just before the final buzzer from near the top of the key to reflect the final tally but had a foot on the 3-point line preventing overtime. Her coast-to-coast layup with less than 15 seconds remaining cut it to 51-48 before East Iberville missed two free throws at the other end.

O'Bear drove lane with 1:11 left to play to cut it to 47-42 after the Lady Tigers missed five of eight free throws in the previous minute and a half.

Jones' putback and O'Bear's free throws each cut the deficit to three with under a minute to play sandwiching Mills' pair. Fuller's dish to Chelsea Green in transition put East Iberville ahead 51-46.

White Castle took a 12-9 lead into the second quarter behind four points each from Shylar O'Bear and Williams. O'Bear's seven in the second quarter pushed the lead to 28-19 at the half before Mills had eight and Mosby six in the third.

The Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 19-2 over Ascension Christian before extending a 31-13 halftime lead into a 51-19 advantage going into the fourth.

Jones led the White Castle with 21 points. Shylar O'Bear added 16, Williams 10, Skylar O'Bear nine, Brooklyn Falcon four, Megan Overstreet and J. Washington each two and Franklin one.

Ally Cambre led the Lady Lions with 15 points. Sydney Sehon added 11.