Prior to last season, the East Ascension Lady Spartans had not reached the state semifinals in 25 years. Now, they're headed there in back-to-back seasons.

Prior to last season, the East Ascension Lady Spartans had not reached the state semifinals in 25 years. Now, they're headed there in back-to-back seasons.

The defending Class 5A state champions have continued to play their best basketball at the best possible time.

The Lady Spartans dropped a 58-55 road contest to Thibodaux back on Dec. 29. They haven't lost since.

East Ascension completed the regular season with a 12-game winning streak. This included a perfect 10-0 stretch in league play, which netted them their second outright District 5-5A title in three years.

The Lady Spartans entered the Class 5A playoffs as the No. 5 seed, and they have made easy work of their opponents thus far.

In the opening round, they hosted No. 28 New Iberia. They easily advanced to the next round with an emphatic 58-29 victory. It was the third straight season in which the Lady Spartans won at least one playoff game.

In the second round, they hosted No. 12 Chalmette.

East Ascension jumped all over them right out of the gates. They began the game on a 12-0 run, and a 3-pointer by Tristen Washington jumped the lead to 19-3.

Washington hit another trey in the waning moments of the first half to give the Lady Spartans a comfortable 27-12 lead at the break.

East Ascension limited Chalmette to just three first-half field goals.

The Lady Spartans led by at least 10 for the entire game. They ended up opening up a huge lead in the fourth quarter and rolling to a 56-33 victory.

Aja Causey led the way in the win, scoring 17 points. Washington scored 11, and Alynzia Morris chipped in with 10.

The victory pushed them through to the state quarterfinals for the second straight season.

This time, they had to go on the road to face fourth-seeded LaGrange on Thursday night. Once again, East Ascension flexed their muscles.

The Lady Spartans were able to take a 30-17 halftime lead over LaGrange, and they never looked back. East Ascension rolled to a 59-36 victory.

The win punched their ticket to the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Girl's Marsh Madness at the Rapides Coliseum in Alexandria for a second straight season.

Their opponent in the semifinals next Thursday night will be ninth-seeded Captain Shreve. They're a team that carries an even greater winning streak than the Lady Spartans.

They haven't lost a game since Dec. 1. In all, they have won 23 straight. This includes a 13-point road victory over top-seeded Sam Houston in the quarterfinals.

This will be the first time these two teams have met all season.

East Ascension's (24-2) clash with Captain Shreve will be followed by the second Class 5A semifinal game on Thursday night. That contest will be between No. 2 Walker (31-4) and sixth-seeded Denham Springs (27-5)

In last year's trip to Alexandria, East Ascension crushed Zachary, 61-41, in the semifinal game. Two days later, they defeated Natchitoches Central, 37-32, to capture the program's first ever state title victory.