West St. John was a lot more competitive the second time around but it still wasn’t quite enough to stave off elimination in the quarterfinals of the girls’ Class 1A playoffs Thursday night in New Orleans.
The Lady Rams, the No. 7 seed, trailed No. 2 seed KIPP-Booker T. Washington by 10 points going into the second half before eventually tying things up 50-50 late in the game.
After a made basket by KIPP-Booker T. Washington broke the tie, West St. John missed a shot on its next possession. West St. John was forced to foul and KIPP-Booker T. Washington hit its free throws down the stretch for a 60-50 triumph over the Lady Rams.
“They took it kind of hard but they played hard and left it on the floor. That’s all you can ask for,” West St. John coach Lester Smith said of his Lady Rams.
West. St. John ended its season at 28-8. KIPP-Booker T. Washington advances to the semifinals and will take on No. 3 Elton. Elton defeated No. 6 seed Tensas 88-87 in overtime on Thursday.
Stevante Hamilton led West St. John in scoring with 22 points while Kylie Adams chipped in 11. Robin Turblin scored 16 points to pace KIPP-Booker T. Washington.
Although the Lady Rams came up short in the quarterfinals, the contest was in stark contrast to the first time the teams met on January 18.
In that game, West St. trailed only 13-10 after one quarter before the Lady Rams managed a total of only seven points combined in the second and third quarter to trail 44-17 heading into the fourth quarter of a 63-27 loss.
“We played a little more man,” Smith said of his team’s defensive effort in the quarterfinal encounter. “We played well. We made a few more turnovers than we normally would and that gave them some easy scoring opportunities.”