Lady Spartans’ late run upends Dutchtown

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension’s Josie West gathers a rebound over teammate Katona Blanche and Dutchtown’s Ka’Neshia Cobbins in the second half of the Lady Spartans’ 54-48 victory Friday night.

East Ascension used an 8-3 run to open the fourth quarter and never looked back on way to a 54-48 District 6-5A victory over Dutchtown Friday night at EAHS’ gym.

The Lady Spartans (17-4, 7-1) remain in a first-place tie atop district standings with Destrehan with two games remaining. Dutchtown falls into a tie for third place with East St. John.

East Ascension head coach Dennis Chandler said the Lady Spartans took their time and advantage of what was available. Chandler said East Ascension is also fortunate to have three people who can score from the outside.

Alexis Ruth finished with a game-high 23 points for East Ascension including 10 in the fourth quarter. Kaneesha Grant added 13, while Symone Miller provided nine.

Dutchtown (19-10, 4-4) was led by Ka’Nesheia Cobbins with 15 points, while Maureen Gross added 11.

“We missed too many free throws,” Dutchtown head coach Annette Lowery said.  “You cannot win a ball game like that. Ruth, Grant and Miller can all shoot the three. We just missed too many assignments and gave them too many open looks. We didn’t cover the way we were supposed to cover and just didn’t play very smart. They came with their game and they did it well.”

Ruth’s 3-pointer opened the final stanza before Gross’ putback cut it to 43-40. Katona Blanche’s turnaround jumper preceded Grant’s dish to Ruth for a 3-pointer in the left corner. Gross’ put back after Cobbins’ dish to her and Ruth’s lane basket cut it to 50-44 before Miller fed Blanche inside and a cutting Ruth to put the Lady Spartans up by 10 with 2:54 left to play. Jodi Hill’s put back and Cobbins’ dish to Jasmine Hampton reflected the final tally.

East Ascension led 13-7 going into the second quarter behind Grant’s six first quarter points and Miller’s five. Brittany Lacy had five for Dutchtown.

The Lady Griffins cut it to 29-26 at half-time as Cobbins exploded for 10 points and Rhondalon Popularus and Evans each hit 3-pointers, despite Ruth’s three 3-pointers and Grant’s five points in the second quarter.

Third quarter scoring was even as the Lady Spartans went into the final stanza with a 40-37 advantage. Cobbins scored five points in the frame and Gross added four. Miller’s dish to Josie West in transition put East Ascension ahead 38-36 with 1:27 left to play in the quarter.

East Ascension's Alexis Ruth converts a lay up in the fourth quarter.