Denham Springs’ third quarter finish stuns Lady Spartans

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension’s Josie West gathers a rebound over Denham Springs’ Taylor Daugherty in the first half of the Lady Yellow Jackets’ 52-40 victory Tuesday night.

Denham Springs closed out the third quarter on a 12-1 run on East Ascension on way to a 52-40 non-district victory Tuesday night at EAHS’ gym.

“We had too many defensive breakdowns,” East Ascension head coach Dennis Chandler said. “They are a good team and a well coached team. We knew that coming in. We have nothing to hang our heads about.  We could have played better but it is still early. I know what we are capable off. We didn’t play our best basketball but they played a big part of that.”

“We have been playing against teams that play zone defense all year. That is no excuse. They forced us to do some things that we normally don’t do. I had kids that weren’t doing what they were supposed to on the floor. We gave up 10 points on one out of bounds play. We should have been in a zone but we were following them in a man to man. You want to force the ball back outside and that is poor coaching on my part.”

East Ascension was led by Alexis Ruth with 10 points. Josie West and Kaneesha Grant each had nine while Machaddy Williams provided four.

Keisha Lee led Denham Springs with 23 points. Bunny Scott added 10 and Lacey Brasseaux provided nine.

“We kept it close till the middle of the third, then we went on a little scoring spree and were able to hold on at the end,” Denham Springs head coach Shelly LaPrairie said. “We went to a little different offensive set and it worked for us. We have been playing about nine people but we had something going with the girls we had out there and we didn’t want to disrupt what was happening.”

Katona Blanche fed Williams inside to open the contest before Brasseaux and Scott passed to Lee inside, the later in transition. Blanche’s dish to Bianca Bougere in transition preceded a 7-1 run by Denham Springs capped by Baylie McMorris’ pull up jumper to close out the first quarter.

Ruth’s 3-pointer from the left corner cut it to 11-9 to open the second frame before Scott’s drive.

West’s putback and Grant’s dish to Ruth in transition off West’s block knotted it up before Lee’s drive. Grant’s 3-pointer on the left wing from West put East Ascension ahead 16-15 with 3:16 left in the first half before Symone Miller fed West inside in transition. Scott’s dish to Lee off an inbounds pass and Taylor Daugherty’s inside bucket gave Denham Springs the lead before Williams and Ciera Sibley traded put backs. Grant’s pull up jumper in transition gave the Lady Spartans a 22-21 half-time lead.

Bougere’s lay up off a steal opened the second half before Scott went coast to coast in transition. West’s jumper in the lane preceded the Lady Yellow Jackets run that Scott capped with a lay up in transition to make it 36-27 after Lee passed to  Brasseaux twice and Scott fed Lee twice off inbounds passes.

“We didn’t go to (West in the second half),” Chandler said. “She did a good job posting up and fighting for position. You have to give her a number of touches and she is not a selfish ball player. If she doesn’t have a shot, she is going to kick it back out. We didn’t make a good enough effort to get her the ball.”

Lee’s pull up jumper opened the final frame before Scott fed Brasseaux off an inbounds pass. McMorris’ dish to Lee off a steal gave Denham Springs their biggest lead 44-30 before Grant fed Ruth for a 3-pointer on the right wing. Williams and Grant’s free throws cut it to 47-37 but the Lady Yellow Jackets made seven of 12 free throws down the stretch.

East Ascension’s Machaddy Williams goes up for a putback in the second half ahead of Denham Springs’ Ciera Sibley Tuesday night.