It felt like a big-game, playoff atmosphere at South Lafourche’s gym last Thursday night as the Lady Tarpons’ girls’ basketball team took the floor against Thibodaux.
The stands were packed. The Cajun Crazies (the Tarpons’ student section) were in attendance. And dynamic, dominant players were on the floor – big names like Lady Tigers’ standout Jewel Triggs and South Lafourche guards Caroline Guilbeau and Brinkley Callais.
When it was all said and done, the game didn’t disappoint, either – a back and forth classic that saw both teams lead late into the fourth quarter.
But when it was all said and done, it was the Lady Tigers who struck the final blow, using timely offense, good free throw shooting and senior leadership to secure a 44-43 win.
The loss dropped the Lady Tarpons to 0-1 on district, but neither South Lafourche coach Rainie Terrebonne nor Thibodaux coach Damon Robinson think that there is reason to panic in Galliano.
“The Thibodaux game was a close game,” Terrebonne said. “We played a good Thibodaux team on Thursday night. Our girls played well. Our players never gave up and fought to the end. We missed a lot of free throws and layups and we came up short.”
“They have no reason to hang their heads – that’s a really good South Lafourche team,” Robinson said. “I’m so proud of my ladies. We came into the absolute hardest place to win in this district, bowed their necks and walked out with a hard-fought win. This is the best we’ve played all year.”
Things started hot for the Lady Tarpons, who rode precise early shooting to a 14-6 lead midway through the first quarter.
But anytime South Lafourche had a run, Thibodaux answered – and vice versa, which pulled the game into the fourth quarter with South Lafourche up 36-33.
In the fourth quarter that continued, but Triggs (16 points) and her teammates made just enough plays offensively to go ahead late and hang on for the win.
Down the stretch, South Lafourche tied the game, but couldn’t take the lead because of a slew of turnovers and missed free throws. On the opposite end, the Lady Tigers made the most of their opportunity to earn the win.
“We practice free throws at practice every day,” Terrebonne said. “On Thursday night, our free throws just weren’t falling.”
The good news for the Lady Tarpons is that the loss didn’t linger on the team’s spirits. Just 24 hours after the Thibodaux game, South Lafourche traveled to Morgan City and beat the Lady Tigers 65-59. At press-time, that makes South Lafourche 15-3 on the year.
“I knew our girls would be able to bounce back from our close loss, and we did that on Friday night against Morgan City,” Terrebonne said. “Every game we play, we get better.”
Tarpon boys struggle to win close ones at Ellender
On the boys’ side, South Lafourche’s week was defined by an inability to win close games. The Tarpons took part in the three-day, three-game Ellender Tournament this past weekend, posting an 0-3 record on the weekend to fall to 3-6 on the season.
It wasn’t always poor play that plagued South Lafourche’s efforts. The Tarpons lost a close, heartbreaking game to Holy Cross on Thursday night, falling 66-64 in a game decided in the final minutes. After being blown out by Ellender 87-55 on Friday night, South Lafourche lost another close one on Saturday afternoon, squandering a halftime lead in a 55-48 defeat at the hands of Covenant Christian Academy.
The Tarpons played Morgan City at home on Tuesday with no score available at press time. They will return to the floor this weekend at the E.D. White Tournament.
Central Lafourche boys remain competitive
South Lafourche’s experience at Ellender wasn’t pleasant. But Central’s stay at the Houma-based tournament wasn’t too bad.
The Trojans beat South Terrebonne 65-57 on Thursday night in the opening round before easily cruising past Assumption 82-59 in the semifinals of the winner’s bracket.
Central Lafourche fell 75-63 to host Ellender in the finals, but the 2-1 weekend moves the Trojans to 9-3 on the young season.
All three of the Trojans’ losses in 2014-15 have come at the hands of the Patriots, who are 11-4 and are one of the best teams in the Houma-Thibodaux area.
“You can always get better, but as a team, I think we’re competing and we’re playing really hard,” Central Lafourche coach Mark Sanders said. “Ellender is a really good team, so they deserve a lot of credit. Had we made more key plays late, the game would have been closer than that.”
Like the Tarpons, the Trojans will take the floor this coming weekend at E.D. White. They open district play on Jan. 6 at H.L. Bourgeois.
Lady Trojans struggling
The new season has been kind to the Trojans’ men, but the ladies have had a hard time finding success.
The school’s girls’ basketball team sits at 2-9 through 11 games after losing 57-54 to South Plaquemines this past week.
The Trojans have now lost six-straight games dating back to the team’s last win – a 49-40 victory over New Orleans Military and Maritime. The Trojans are also a winless 0-2 against Class 5A competition this season – most of their games having been played against Class 1A or 2A foes.
The Lady Trojans opened district play at home against Hahnville on Monday night with no score available at press-time. From there, they will travel to take on Thibodaux on Dec. 29.
Posted on Tue, December 23, 2014
by Casey Gisclair, Contributing Writer