Minutes after falling to Mt. Carmel in the 5A State Championship in 2014, Destrehan coach Angi Butler made a bold proclamation.
“We’re going to be back,” said Butler. “And the next time it’s going to be a totally different ending. I guarantee it.”
It took three years, but Butler was right.
Fighting off No.1 ranked Barbe in a back-and-forth affair, Destrehan pulled away in the closing minute for a 62-57 win claiming the 5A State Championship, capping off a perfect 35-0 season.
“When you say the words State Champs, I mean it tells you everything you need to know, the best in the state,” said Butler. “I knew these girls were the best team it was whether we were going to step up and prove ourselves today.”
And they did. Especially in the face of adversity trailing 52-49 with 3:34 remaining in the game.
Cara Ursin playing with four fouls for most of the fourth quarter, scored seven of her game-high 27 points, pulled down three rebounds, and had an assist during that stretch propelling the Lady Cats to the state title and Ursin to the Most Oustanding Player award.
As the 5A State Championship capped off a perfect season for Destrehan, Ursin’s 27-point 11-rebound effort most assuredly sealed her third straight Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year, her second straight Louisiana Miss Basketball, and quite possibly National Player of the Year honors.
“Definitely, it’s a feeling you can’t really explain,” said Ursin. “When the clock struck zero in the fourth quarter and we were up, I mean what do you do? We won. After four years of falling short we finally won and we didn’t only win the State Championship, we went undefeated. That speaks volumes for us.”
Like Ursin, Lele Morris, Brandi Mason, and Kiki Kenner were freshman on the Destrehan team who lost the 2014 State Championship game to Mt. Carmel. The four seniors combined with freshman guard Korriana Reynaud to log almost every minute of both wins at the Final Four.
Morris scored 15 points with Mason adding 12 as both scored crucial fourth quarter points.
It was the final game for Butler as head coach of Destrehan as she plans to pursue more of an administrative role in the teaching field. What a way to go out.
“We’re going out with a bang,” said Butler. “It’s a decision that came hard to my heart and it’s going to hard to leave the coaching realm at the high school level. Will I coach collegiate ball? Hopefully someday. Hopefully someday that door will open up for me. I had a couple of opportunities a couple of years ago but I made a commitment to these girls when they were freshman, I will stay until you graduate.”
For the second straight year, Richey on Sports Productions has been following Destrehan for key moments throughout the season. Details will soon be released on a second season of “Lady and the Cats” an all-access show which will document this historic achievement with behind-the-scenes video, features, and highlights.