St. John girls, 15-1, pull past 5A Live Oak 35-31

Staff Report

Jubilation and relief prevailed among the coaches and players from St. John girls’ basketball team after their non-district battle Jan. 7 at Live Oak High School in Watson.

The jubilation was obvious after the Lady Eagles of District 7-1A pulled past Class 5A foe Live Oak, 35-31, for a win that boosted St. John’s record to 15-1.

Kaitlyn Glaser leads St. John on a march down court in the final minute of action against Live Oak. Also pictured are Takia Wesley (30), Marlee Ourso (11) and Isabella LoBue (23). St. John improved to 15-1 in the 35-31 victory.

What proved equally impressive was that SJHS prevailed despite the absence of seven players who were sidelined by the omicron quarantine. Live Oak dressed out 14 players for the game.

The win came two days after Southern Lab backed out of a visit to St. John due to quarantine issues.

“We prepared pretty hard Thursday for all the scenarios,” head coach Cindy Prouty said. “We had two freshmen in the lineup who had not played (Marlee Ourso and Mallyah Myles).

“We were nervous, but the girls played hard and got us through this one,” she said. “Free throws really helped us at the end, even though we missed a few in the first half.”

The combination of Kaitlyn Glaser’s 4-for-4 showing at the free throw line and six points by J’Myria Kelly helped St. John stave off a feisty Live Oak squad.

J’Myria Kelly, under pressure in the fourth quarter, scored 13 points to lead St. John past Live Oak 35-31 on Friday, Jan. 7 in Watson.

Kelly tallied the game-high 13 points while Glaser and Isabella LoBue each netted eight.

“We knew we were playing against a good team tonight, so we knew we all had to step up, play our best game and apply everything we did in practice to turn up the heat on them,” Glaser said. “We knew we need to get that boost at the end to get the win.”

The game served as great preparation for the upcoming district slate, Kelly said.

“We were limited on players, so we worked our tails off for this one,” she said. “We’re about to go into district, so we’re going to keep hustling the way we did when we started off the season.”

Live Oak took an 11-8 advantage in the first quarter, but St. John held the Livingston Parish foe to only one bucket in the second quarter.

Two shots by LoBue and one from Kelly gave St. John a 14-13 lead at the half.

“We had a lot going against going into this one, but coach prepared us well and made sure the freshmen were ready to play so we could come out on top,” LoBue said. “We plan to keep practicing hard, keep winning and we’re optimistic we’ll come out on top in district.”

Two goals and two free throws by Kelly, along with two of four shots from the line by Takia Wesley kept the pace for St. John, although Live Oak notched a two-point lead by the end of the third stanza.

St. John was set to host Dunham and Riverside Academy after press time. The Eagles visit St. Martin’s Episcopal on Jan. 18, visit Collegiate Baton Rouge on Jan. 18 and Crescent City on Jan. 19.

SJHS entertains crosstown rival Plaquemine on Jan. 21.