St. Amant's season ends against Broadmoor

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Kara Gremillion had eight points in St. Amant's 37-34 loss to Broadmoor. Photo by Dewey Keller.

The St. Amant Lady Gators' 13-game winning streak ended at the worst possible time.

Last Thursday night, they tasted defeat for the first time in two months as they were bounced from the opening round of the playoffs by Broadmoor 37-34 in an anxiety-filled overtime thriller.

"I knew coming in that they (Broadmoor) were going to be tough, they were going to be athletic and it was going to be a hard road," St. Amant head coach Kristy Englade said. "Our kids never gave up; things just didn't fall in our favor."

Despite a raucous home crowd, the No. 13-seeded Lady Gators fell into an early hole as Broadmoor came out firing. They drilled two 3-pointers to jump on top of St. Amant 9-2.

The Lady Gators had a tough time trying to answer with the Lady Buccaneers' fast and tenacious defense. It resulted in many uncharacteristic turnovers.

Still with the upper-hand, MiKayla Crockett nailed a long-range rainbow-like trey at the buzzer to give Broadmoor a 12-5 lead heading into the second quarter.

The Lady Gators finally got a spark from Jaci Lavigne as she drilled a 3-pointer of her own to start the second period. That cut the deficit to two points.

From there, Kara Gremillion got into the act. She tied the game after she followed one of her misses, grabbed the rebound and made the put-back. She then gave St. Amant their first lead as she navigated her way through traffic and converted a lay-in.

After ending the quarter on a 9-3 run, the Lady Gators led 16-15 at the break.

But just like the first half, Broadmoor made a big run to start the action in the second.

Monchea Thornton became possessed and took the game over--scoring 11 straight points for the Lady Buccaneers. All in all, it was an 11-2 run for Broadmoor that gave them their biggest lead of the game at 26-18.

"They got up on us with a streak, and it really killed our momentum. It was huge in their favor," Englade said.

St. Amant didn't let the run bury them though. They made a big charge to start the fourth quarter.

That run was started by Jordan Hartman as she made a huge block and on the other end, she nailed a baseline jumper to cut the lead to just four. Lavigne then nailed a trey to cut it to just one.

Broadmoor answered right back--extending the advantage back to seven points but once again, the Lady Gators refused to quit.

Gremillion came through with a bucket to cut the lead to 32-29 with just 1:32 remaining. On the next possession, she ran the ball downcourt and made a beautiful dish to Hartman--who made a lay-in to cut the lead to one with 38 seconds remaining.

Later Lavigne drove to the basket and drew the foul with just 12 seconds left, but she could only hit one of the two free throws, so the game remained deadlocked.

After Abby Diaz missed a potential game-winning jumper at the buzzer, the game went into overtime. St. Amant ended regulation on a 7-0 run.

In overtime, it was all about missed opportunities for the Lady Gators.

Trailing by two, Ne'Kyla Williams could only hit one of two free-throw attempts. Later, in the same situation, Lavigne suffered the same fate.

Their last chance to win came later when Lavigne drove the lane for a big winner, but her lay-in wouldn't go.

It led to Samira Irvin hitting two clutch free throws for Broadmoor. Lavigne threw up a prayer just inside halfcourt as time expired, but it wouldn't go. The Lady Buccaneers pulled out the victory 37-34.

The near misses in overtime really made the loss that much tougher for St. Amant.

"It was very frustrating," Englade said. "We said all year that it was going to come down to those things in close games like these. I always tell them that everything matters."

In the win, Thornton led Broadmoor with 13--11 coming in that critical third-quarter run. Crockett chipped in with 11.

As for St. Amant, Hartman led the way with 10. Lavigne and Gremillion had eight apiece.

The first-round loss hurts, but Coach Englade couldn't have been more proud of her team as they finished a season that saw them go 25-5, 10-0 in district play and win a district crown for the first time since 1992.

"I'm very proud of them," Englade said. "They made history and won district for the first time in over 20 years and went undefeated. These kids fought their hearts out this entire season. It's a special group, and they keep the program going in the right direction. I hate to see my three seniors leave."