Lady Lions fall just shy to Family Christian

Peter Silas Pasqua
Ascension Christian’s Krystal Braud battles Family Christian’s Helena Hitchcock for a rebound in the fourth quarter of the Lady Flames’ 30-27 victory Friday night.

Ascension Christian’s Chrissy Swanson nailed a jumper off a missed free throw with 15.2 seconds remaining but missed off Kandice Braud’s inbounds steal and Family Christian rebounded to preserve a 30-27 District 9-C victory Friday night at AC’s gym.

“That is actually probably the closest game we have been in this year,” Ascension Christian head coach Brett Shelton said. “It was a learning experience for us because we haven’t been in a close game yet. It was definitely important for us to compete.”

“This is all a learning experience for us. We are not worried about winning district this year. We are just learning how to win first.”

Ascension Christian, a first-year high school, is competing in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association for basketball with a brand new program. The only other district opponent is Louisiana School for the Death.

“We only had five or six girls sign up to play and I had to talk two or three more into playing just so we would have enough to have a team this year. I have eight girls and only one has played organized basketball before so it has been a struggle just getting them to understand the fundamentals and basics but they continue to get better. It has been tough with only eight girls in practice.”

Swanson and Krystal Braud led the Lady Lions (0-10, 0-2) with nine points apiece.

Family Christian, which wrapped up the district crown following two previous wins over LSD, was led by Sarah Alvarez with 18 points.

“That was a huge win for the program,” Family Christian head coach James Holmes said. “This gives us the district title. We got into foul trouble and they had a chance to win at the end.”

The Lady Flames (3-8, 3-0) took a 19-14 lead going into the final stanza. Alyssa Baptist fed Alvarez inside and one to open the frame before Krystal Braud’s putback. Alvarez’s dish to Helena Hitchcock inside and 3-pointer from the left corner off an inbounds put Family Christian ahead 27-16.

Ascension Christian then used a 6-0 run courtesy of Swanson’s dishes to Allie Dempster, the second off a steal, which sandwiched Krystal Braud’s free throws. Alvarez’s penetrating dish to LaBrya Fleming in the left corner for a 3-pointer preceded Krystal Braud’s putback which cut it to 30-24.

“We have been waiting on her all year to do that,” Shelton said of Braud. “It is her first year to play basketball but she getting better and better and finding out what she needs to do to rebound the basketball. She definitely kept us in it at the end.”

Family Christian took a 4-3 lead in the first quarter with all of Ascension Christian’s points coming from Peyton Guitreau. 

The Lady Flames got six points from Alvarez in the second quarter to take a 16-10 half-time lead. Alvarez provided all of Family Christian’s points in the third frame.