Lady Gators find a way to win late against Episcopal

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant’s Elena Villar shoots over Episcopal’s Chelsea Harrell and Maddy Pearault in the first quarter of the Lady Gators’ 39-28 victory Tuesday night in the Gold Dome.

ST. AMANT?– St. Amant converted 11 free throws in the fourth quarter to pull away from Episcopal 39-28 Tuesday night at the Gold Dome.

The Lady Knights had cut the deficit to two going into the final frame and led by as many as six in the second quarter.

“We got a little down when our shots weren’t falling,” St. Amant head coach Kristy Englade said. “Once we can overcome that we will be OK. I finally had to tell them just to relax. Hopefully, our defense can keep us in games because we have struggled scoring.

“We had girls step up tonight when others struggled and we haven’t had that. We are going to need that to happen  regardless. We are making progress and getting continuous improvement. We have so many kids that are even keel so there is a lot of depth on the bench.”

Kandace Boudreaux led St.?Amant (8-3) with 12 points, while Kaitlin McClure and Kalyn Acy each had nine.

Mary Melissa Hoover had a game-high 20 points for Episcopal (3-11) a Class 2A quarterfinalist a year ago.

“It is a new team,” Episcopal head coach Travis Bourgeois said. “We lost six seniors that have been to the quarterfinals and semifinals the last five years. We are going to go through some growing pains this year but if we keep getting better as a team, that is all you can ask.

“When it comes down to the fourth quarter, we don’t know how to win yet and that has been the same thing all year.”

McClure’s free throw put the Lady Gators up for good in the second quarter before her dish to Boudeaux inside made it 14-11 at halftime.

Hoover’s reverse off an inbounds pass from Danielle Maddox gave Episcopal their biggest lead 11-5 before McClure drove across the lane, Bria Turner nailed a 19-footer from the right wing and Elena Villar fed Boudreaux inside.

McClure’s dish to Acy opened the second half before Maddox’s drive. Acy’s lay up off a steal and Boudreaux’s drive preceded Hoover’s floater followed by an and one to cut it to 20-18.

Allison Hagan’s baseline jumper made it 24-22 going into the final frame after Turner’s 19-footer and McClure’s baseline drive sandwiched Hoover’s pull up jumper in the lane.

Boudreaux’s drive opened the fourth quarter before a flurry of free throws. Chelsea Robertson’s inside bucket from?Boudreaux and Emily Howe’s bank shot just before the buzzer reflected the final tally.

McClure’s jumper opened the contest before Kayla Ruth’s bank shot gave the Lady Gators an early 4-1 lead. Hagan’s dish to Maddox inside and Hoover’s 3-pointer from near the top of the key put Episcopal ahead. Hoover’s 19-footer just before the buzzer off a steal made it 9-4 going into the second quarter.

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St. Amant’s Kandace Boudreaux drives to the basket in the fourth quarter of the Lady?Gators’ 39-28 victory over Episcopal Tuesday night.