Lady Hornets play for state title March 7
By Mark Word
Albany Lady Hornets in the basketball state semi-final contest in the Southeastern Louisiana State University Coliseum in Hammond.
As you would expect there was quite a flurry of sound and fury as our Lady Hornets, seeded #5, buzzed to a 22-point margin of victory, 78-56, in a game much closer than the score indicated.
Even though Rayville fans were in abundance (a chartered bus, four school buses and 20 carloads), we were outnumbered about four to one in bodies but equal in spirit and enthusiasm.
In the beginning the going was hectic with each team playing better without the ball than with it. Good defense? A little of that but more like bad offense with bad passes, walking calls and fumbles.
At 5:22 left in the first quarter neither team had scored, but this reporter’s fears were eased. I thought, Albany may be the best team in the state but they are not going to blow our girls out.
At this point Coach Amber Obaze-Ford (no stranger to big time games, she played under Leon Barmore in 2001 and 02 when the Lady Techsters were ranked as high as five in the nation) called time out and put the train back on the tracks, not dwelling on the negative but calmly explaining what they could be doing right.
At 5:22, Victoria Wilson found Ladencia Johnson under the basket with single coverage and LJ laid it in for the first score of the game. Rayville never relinquished the lead.
The first quarter ended with our Hornets leading 14-9. Ladencia Johnson got 12 of her 21 points in the second quarter. Victoria Wilson added a three-pointer as did Thomasina Minor and Arielle Richardson added two points for the Hornets twenty for the quarter and Rayville led 34-18 at half.
So how was the game closer than the score indicated? Our Hornets continued to swarm and built a 27 point advantage in the third period. That’s when Big Mo of momentum raised his ugly and fickle head and decided to let the Albany Hornets swarm and they did. Before you could say, “What’s happening?” the lead was cut to a dozen.
What was happening? Damiesha Daniels fouled out late in the third when we were leading by 17. Johnson, our leading scorer with 21 points, fouled out with 6:01 left in the game and that seemingly slim lead of 12.
Time out and time to adjust That did not slow down Mo, the lead was cut to 10 with over three minutes left to play.
About this time, freshman Angelica Williams for Rayville, stepped to the line to shoot two. She missed the first; the second went in, but Mo was not through; he kicked it right out and Albany got the rebound. But here Mo met his match in Arielle Richardson, the Mo changer. She stole the ball from the rebounder and was fouled as she put it in. She calmly went to the line to complete the three-point play. It was over. Ole fickle Mo said, “Hey girl, I like your style” and he stayed with our Hornets the rest of the way as Arielle scored 10 of her 14 points in the fourth. Final score 78-56.
Others scoring for Rayville: Victoria Wilson with a couple of treys had 20; Thomasina Minor with two three-pointers had 12; Andrienna Jackson, 10 and Daniels with 1.
And now the final crucible tonight, March 7, in ULM’s Fant-Ewing Coliseum in Monroe with the #2 seed, Baker. Will our four seniors who have been playing together since the sixth grade fulfill their incomparable dream?
Most read articles
|Doughty elected to Guaranty Bank board||10/27/2010 - 10:23|
|Dragons slate homecoming||10/16/2008 - 11:20|
|World War II veterans offered free trip to D.C. memorial||03/18/2009 - 10:23|
|Sales tax holiday saves shoppers 4% Aug. 3-4||08/01/2012 - 09:23|
|June 28, 2011||06/26/2012 - 07:47|