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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

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Lady Tarpons surge into Quarterfinals in thrilling win

Lady Tarpons surge into Quarterfinals in thrilling win

South Lafourche junior guard Makayla Bynum looked like she’d just been in a brawl. A bag of ice covered her knee, her chin swelled slightly after what she described as being stepped on and her arms and legs grabbed at her with the stinging pain of soreness.

“It was a rough game,” Bynum said with a smile.

That, it was, Mac … and that’s putting it mildly!

The Lady Tarpons and Lady Spartans from Salmen played four quarters of fast-paced, high-octane basketball on Monday night, a physical, frenetic pace that sometimes more resembled rugby than hoops.

But in the end, the Lady Tarpons didn’t back down from the body blows and even delivered some of their own, using a second-half surge to break a 34-all halftime tie and secure a 64-58 win.

With the win, the Lady Tarpons are now in the State Quarterfinals for the third-straight season.

Coach Rainie Terrebonne said she couldn’t be prouder of how her team fought against a Lady Spartans group that was one of the more athletic, physical teams South Lafourche had played all year.

“I’m so proud of them,” Terrebonne said pointing back at her team celebrating behind her. “Nobody ever thought we’d be right here at this point in the season. And now, we’re getting ready to go to the third round of the playoffs. I’m so proud of my players. I’m so proud of my coaching staff for all of the hard work we’ve been putting in and it showed right here tonight.”

Bynum led the Lady Tarpons with 24 points, a warrior-like effort from the smallest player on the floor.

Her teammates rallied together with her to win an all-out slugfest.

South Lafourche stormed out of the gates hot, drawing countless fouls while handling Salmen’s pressure in a 12-2 run.

The Lady Spartans committed six fouls in the first three minutes of the game, putting South Lafourche at the free-throw line countless times in the game with undisciplined, sloppy defense.

But it wasn’t all bad for Salmen early.

After the slow start, the Lady Spartans were fierce, going on a quick 15-2 run over a little more than two minutes to take a 17-14 late in the quarter.

From there, the teams were back and forth with a vengeance. Salmen led 22-21 after one quarter and the teams were tied at 34 at halftime.

But in the second half, some of the Salmen’s early-game lapses in discipline came back to haunt them.

Fouls piled on the Lady Spartans throughout the game, forcing them to change their defensive aggression, which got the team out of rhythm on both ends of the floor.

South Lafourche dominated the third quarter 16-8 to take a 50-42 advantage into the fourth quarter.

While there and under the pressure of a high-stakes playoff game, the Lady Spartans cracked, while the Lady Tarpons prospered.

Four Salmen players fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter, while Bynum iced the game, making 7 free throws in the final period to push the team to the win.

South Lafourche shot 24-of-32 at the line in the win, while also limiting the Lady Spartans to just one shot on most of their misses.

Both Bynum and Terrebonne credited South Lafourche’s bigs with a physical presence in the win.

Nalaysia Mack scored six points, while Abigail Bouzigard pitched in 4. Together with Sierra Lerille (3 points) and Madelyn Bourgeois and even Breylynn Jackson, the Lady Tarpons controlled the paint.

“Our post players stepped up and answered the challenge,” Bynum said. “We needed them to be big tonight and they were.”

Evan Duet also was huge, pitching in 10 points, while Ava Pitre also added 10.

Madison Ryan had 5 points, including big minutes in the 2nd quarter handling point guard responsibilities when Bynum got two fouls.

“It was a total team effort,” Terrebonne said.

With the win, South Lafourche moves from one challenge to the next. The Lady Tarpons will now travel to Shreveport where they will take on No. 1 Benton Thursday night. The top-seeded team in the state earned their place in the Quarterfinals after a 20-point win against Plaquemine on Monday night.

The winner of the South Lafourche/Benton game will make it to the Top 28 in Alexandria. If successful, it would be South Lafourche’s second-straight trip to the tournament.

Terrebonne said no matter how things go, she’s grateful for the hard work and determination her team has shown to get to this point.

“We’re leaving Wednesday morning,” Terrebonne said. “We’re ready!”