The young St. Amant Lady Gator basketball squad went 3-3 in the recent St. Michael and Walker Invitational Tournaments.

The young St. Amant Lady Gator basketball squad went 3-3 in the recent St. Michael and Walker Invitational Tournaments.

The Lady Gators went 3-0 at St. Michael, kicking things off with a 46-28 win over Woodlawn. The Gators fell behind early but righted the ship behind pressure defense by sophomores Mckenzie Brooks and Kelsi Martine to coast to the victory.

Brooks and Martine combined for 25 points to pace the Gators.

Next up was a battle to the buzzer versus the Episcopal Knights, where the Gators pulled out a 32-31 win. In a defensive match, the Gators strung together enough offense to escape with the victory.

Brooks managed 11 points, along with junior Megan Melancon’s 10 to pace the Gators.

The final game pitted the Lady Gators versus the hosting St. Michael Warriors. The Gators, in a back-and-forth affair, found itself trailing by 5 in the fourth quarter before rallying for a 36-32 win.

The Gators relied on sharp shooting from junior Brooke Romano, who scored 7 of her 9 points in the fourth quarter to kick start the Gators’ come-from-behind win.

In another defensive battle, the Gators turned to reserve seniors Morgan Bourgeios and Blythe Babin to turn up the heat on the Warriors to aid in the rally.

The competition in the Walker Invitational stepped up a couple notches, and while the Gators went 0-3, they competed tooth and nail each game.

The Gators opened up versus the Central Wildcats and fell behind, 14-4, after one.

Behind senior Shaelyn Byars and Martine’s sharp shooting, the Lady Gators rallied to within 15-14 just before halftime.

A back-and-forth third quarter saw the Gators compete to keep the game within reach at 32-24, before running out of gas in the fourth quarter and falling, 44-26.

Sophomore Aysa Price and Romano battled down low versus the much taller Wildcats to combine for 15 rebounds.

Next up was the fast-paced, run-and-gun Rayne Wolves. In an up-and-down affair, Rayne opened up a close game late, pulling away for a 41-30 win.

The Gators slowed the Wolves down and held them to only 5 first-quarter points thanks to staunch defense by Brooks, Romano and Price, who had two big blocks on the Wolves’ center, despite giving up five inches in height.

In the second quarter, the Wolves forced the Gators into more up-tempo and pulled out to a 7-point lead, only to see the Gators rally to only trail by 2 at the break, thanks to the hot shooting from Brooks and Martine. The second half saw the game stay fast-paced with both teams matching each other bucket for bucket until Rayne was able to knock down all of its free throws late to pull away.

In the final game of the tournament, the Gators took on the experienced Rapides Mustangs and again went toe to toe till the final buzzer, falling 56-49 in a game much closer then the final score.

The Mustangs raced out to a 12-point lead in the first quarter, but true to form, the Gators rallied behind Romano's 8 second-quarter points to take a 29-27 lead into the half.

A back-and-forth third quarter saw the Mustangs retake the lead heading into the fourth.

The Gators got defensive with Bourgeios and Babin stepping in to put the clamps down on the Mustangs’ inside scoring.

Sophomore Carly Fontenot was called upon for her ball-handling to ease the pressure from Rapides’ press, and the Gators climbed back into the game before the Mustangs put it away late.

Martine notched three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including one that turned into a 4-point play. Martine finished with 13 points, while Romano added 12 and 10 rebounds.

Melancon and Brooks finished with 8 each, and Price paced the Gators with 11 boards.