PEAK PREVAILED: Lady Spartans rally past Destrehan in district opener
East Ascension overcame a 14-point deficit and height disadvantage to register a come from behind 53-49 District 6-5A opening victory over Destrehan Tuesday night at EAHS’ gym.
Destrehan led 27-13 in the second quarter before the Lady Spartans used a 13-0 run in the final frame to take the lead with just over four minutes to play.
“There are a lot of things I was not pleased with,” East Ascension head coach Dennis Chandler said. “The district will take care of itself. When we do things the right way, I like our chances. I mean it is not going to be pretty but we are capable of doing some good things on the floor. We are quick and use that to our advantage on both sides of the floor.
“Overall, I was disappointed with our behavior on the floor. Sometimes, we take teams for granted. We have a lot of room for improvement. That is what we have to get them to understand. We don’t have a lot of depth so we have to play a certain way. For us to be effective, we have to play defense and rebound and that doesn’t have to do with height or size. That is just a matter of desire and using proper technique.”
Symone Miller led East Ascension (9-6, 1-0) with 22 points. Brionca Bougere added 16, while Alexis Ruth provided seven and Kiona Lomas and Shannon Corbin each had four.
“We didn’t do a good job defensively in the second half,” Destrehan head coach Ulysses Frontha said. “Once they got the lead, then we had to change defenses on them because they were going to stall the ball if we didn’t. We couldn’t stay with them in man to man because we just didn’t guard very well. We would always leave one person open.”
Paige Rochelle led Destrehan (13-11, 0-1) with 22 points. Raheaven Ewing added 11, while Kayla Bradley provided nine.
“Their height was hurting because the young lady scoring is a pretty good ball player,” Chandler said. “There are a lot of things we didn’t do to make it more difficult for her. I am not saying we could have stopped her but we could have played with a lot more energy and smarter.”
Bougere’s consecutive layups off steals put East Ascension ahead 44-43 with 4:28 left to play during a 13-0 run. Miller’s penetrating dish to Lomas inside sandwiched four free throws by Bougere before Rochelle’s putback ended the drought.
“Brionca is very capable,” Chandler said. “I have been trying to get her more active offensive wise but we have to do a better job of executing from the locker room to the floor.”
Rochelle’s putback with 33 seconds remaining cut it to 51-49 before Ruth’s free throws reflected the final tally.
Miller’s pull up 15-footer cut it to 12-4 at the end of the first quarter after Toi Payne fed Rochelle in transition and Bradley drove lane.
Armani Lee’s dish to Rochelle inside opened the second quarter before Miller nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing in transition and converted off Corbin’s steal to cut it to 14-9.
Rochelle’s putback preceded Miller’s stutter step in transition before Bradley connected for a 3-pointer at the top of the key. After Bougere’s jumper, the Lady Wildcats went on a 7-0 run capped by Rochelle’s putback with under one minute left in the half to take their biggest lead.
East Ascension closed out the half on a 6-0 run courtesy Ruth’s drive and Bougere and Miller’s lay ups off steals to cut it to 27-19.
Bougere’s pull up jumper cut it to 29-25 after Ruth’s dish to Lomas inside and layup in transition. Miller’s 3-pointer from the left wing cut it to 33-30 after Bradley fed Rochelle inside.
Lee’s putback just before the buzzer made it 39-35 going into the final frame after another 3-pointer from Miller in the left corner and Corbin’s transition bucket.
Bougere pulled up in the lane to open the fourth quarter before feeding Miller for a 3-pointer on the right wing after starting the run with a pair of free throws.