GIRLS-BASKETBALL

Rosepine girls basketball turning to sophomores for first trip to state since 2018

LaMar Gafford
Alexandria Town Talk

CAMPTI — When Charles “CT” Kiely left DeRidder for Rosepine three years ago, he knew it was not going to be long until he built it up to a level where it can compete with the best in Class 2A.

Behind a group of sophomores, that is now a reality.

The Lady Eagles defeated Lakeview 51-48 in the Class 2A quarterfinals Thursday for their first trip to the LHSAA girls basketball state tournament since 2018 when it was a No. 14 seed.

Lakeview finished its season 24-3.

Rosepine will face third seed Rayville in the Class 2A semifinals next week in Hammond.

“I’m speechless right now,” Rosepine sophomore Addison Fruge said. “I’ve never been to the state tournament since I’ve been here so I’m excited.”

The sophomore trio of Nevaeh Rivera, Fruge and Kelly Norris scored 42 of Rosepine’s 51 points, but this is something that has been an occurrence all season.

Rosepine sophomore Addison Fruge (2) drives down the lane against Lakeview during the Class 2A quarterfinals Thursday.

In the first round, Rivera scored 22 points to lead the Lady Eagles (27-7) past Delcambre, while Norris recently had a 20-point game against Pickering when she scored 21 in a January meeting between the two teams.

“We’ve been putting in a lot of work together and have a lot of chemistry,” Fruge said.

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“They’ve grown up together,” Kiely said. “When I came in three years ago, I saw the love that we have for each other – from top to bottom. It’s just something that we carry on the floor and away from the basketball court.”

A player that the trio looked up to was senior Taylor Farris, who is the lone holdover from the 2018 team that went to state.

“We work very hard, but we have a great leader (in Taylor),” Fruge said. “She helps us even when we’re down and stuff."

“Being a senior, you have to build them up because they were young and sometimes, they might hate me after practice, but it’s all worth it in the end.”

Rosepine sophomore Kelly Norris (10) gets ready to shoot against Lakeview during the Class 2A quarterfinals Thursday.

Even though the 2019-20 season was a building block for them with a 19-13 record, last season was a turning point for the trio.

Rosepine went 27-6 and lost in the quarterfinals to Amite in the 2020-21 season, but Farris knew that loss would serve as a teachable moment.

“We picked each other up in the locker room and we knew that we were always there for each other,” Farris said. “During the summer, we promised each other that we’d make it further.”

The Lady Eagles did just that by starting 8-0 and winning the Vernon Parish Tournament, before winning their last 10 regular season games to share the District 5-2A title with Kinder.

“We put in a lot of hard work to get here,” Kiely said. “The girls are battle-tested and we played a hard schedule. We came in a grinded it out.”