Parish players make All-District 5-5A girl’s team

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
St. Amant’s Deniya Thornton was named the District 5-5A MVP.

The Class 5A girl’s basketball season didn’t go as well as in seasons passed here in Ascension Parish. Only one of the three programs made the playoffs.

Still, there were plenty of solid individual performances by the area’s athletes. As a result, nine parish players were named to the All-District 5-5A team.

Most of those selections came from St. Amant. In fact, six of the nine parish players that made the all-district team were Lady Gators.

It was St. Amant that had the most success of all of Ascension’s teams in 2020-21.

The Lady Gators had to make a transition this season after longtime head coach Kristy Englade decided to step down. In came first-year head coach Bianca Harvey to take her place.

St. Amant went 21-10 overall this season. The Lady Gators also won the District 5-5A championship for the first time since 2014. St. Amant went on to host a playoff game for the first time since that same season.

The 14th-seeded Lady Gators trailed West Jefferson by 10 in the fourth quarter, but they fought their way back to capture a thrilling 66-60 victory. It was St. Amant’s first playoff victory in eight years.The Lady Gators reached the second round, where they were eliminated by third-seeded Walker, 60-57.

Harvey was named the District 5-5A Coach of the Year, and Deniya Thornton was named the district’s MVP.

In addition to Thornton, St. Amant had three other first-team selections. They were senior point guard Amani Gray, Amiyah Barrow and Caterina Byars.

The Lady Gators’ honorable-mention selections were Halle Haydel and Bret Mayers.

Dutchtown really struggled this past season, but the Lady Griffins still placed three players on the all-district team.

Like St. Amant, Dutchtown had to break in a new head coach in 2020-21. Before the season, Anette Lowery decided to step down.

Lowery had coached the program for 18 years and was the only girl’s basketball coach Dutchtown ever had. She won more than 300 games.

Chase Delrie took over as the Lady Griffins’ new head coach.

Dutchtown went 6-18 during the regular season and missed the playoffs for the third straight season.

Although, one Lady Griffin player made the All-District 5-5A first team. That was junior forward Saylor Donaldson.

Both Jordyn Lemon and Kendall Davis were honorable-mention selections.

The other players that made up the all-district first team were Ty’Reona Sibley and Gabrielle Lathers of McKinley, Emily Soignet of St. Joseph’s Academy and Reagan McDoweol of Woodlawn.

Being named honorable mention were McKinley’s Diamond Bell, Woodlawn’s Quiandra Bell and St. Joseph’s Ava Riche and Peyton Soignet.