SPORTS

St. Amant’s season ends with loss to West Monroe

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
The Lady Gators double team West Monroe’s Shamiya Butler, who scored 25 in the Lady Rebels’ victory.

St. Amant was just 16 minutes away from a trip to the state quarterfinals. Then Shamiya Butler happened.

The 6-foot-2 West Monroe center took over in the second half, and the Lady Gators had no answer.

The Lady Rebels trailed, 31-29, at halftime, but fueled by Butler, West Monroe opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run that put them ahead by eight. The Lady Rebels never trailed again, eventually pulling away with a 69-58 victory.

“[Butler] was the difference there,” St. Amant head coach Bianca Harvey said. “She had the size. We tried fronting, we tried going backside, we tried doubling—we tried all we could. She was unstoppable in the paint. We knew she was going to be an issue, and she just took over in the second half.”

The Gators came out hot in their second-round home game against the Lady Rebels. A 3-pointer by Deniya Thornton gave them a 12-6 lead in the first quarter.

However, West Monroe went on an 8-1 run to capture the lead in the second period.

St. Amant responded with a big run of its own. Amiyah Barrow and Grace Brown hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Lady Gators their biggest advantage of the game at eight.

But West Monroe closed out the half on an 11-5 spurt to cut the deficit to two.

The third quarter belonged to the Lady Rebels. They scored the first 10 points to build an eight-point lead of their own. They led, 48-42, heading into the fourth.

There, Butler came up with a score in the paint that helped balloon the Lady Rebels’ lead to 13 points.

St. Amant didn’t give up. The Lady Gators ran off seven straight points, highlighted by a 3-pointer by Brown.

That cut the West Monroe lead down to six points. But unfortunately for the Lady Gators, that’s as close as they would get.

The Lady Rebels pushed the lead back to eight and then cruised to an 11-point victory.

Butler ended up scoring 25 points for West Monroe.

In a losing effort, Thornton led the way for St. Amant with 25 points of her own. In her final game as a Lady Gator, Barrow scored 14.

“I’m extremely proud of the girls. Even after this game, I was proud with how we fought until we couldn’t fight anymore,” Harvey said. “We just came up short. When you’re facing a player that size and you’re lacking size of your own, there’s nothing you can really do. But I’m proud of the way the girls fought all year.”

St. Amant fell short in reaching the state quarterfinals, but the Lady Gators completed another terrific season.

For the second straight year, St. Amant won more than 20 games, captured the District 5-5 championship and won a first-round playoff game.

“We’re losing seven seniors, so it will be a big gap to fill,” Harvey said. “Our seniors did everything I asked of them this year. They played hard, they played smart, they played together. Yeah, they’re hurt after this game, but they have something to be proud of.”