If the West St. John girls’ basketball team is to advance to the Class 1A semifinals, they will need a different sort of game than the one they had the first time around against KIPP-Booker T. Washington.
Back on January 18, the Lady Rams fell 63-27 in New Orleans.
“We took a couple of bad shots and we turned the ball over a couple of times back-to-back. They stretched the lead and then we started taking our own 3-pointers (and not making them) and got behind,” West St. John coach Lester Smith recalled.
At lot more is at stake this time when the teams meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, again in New Orleans.
KIPP-Booker T. Washington, the No. 2 seed, had an opening-round bye before defeating Homer 55-35.
West St. John advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating South Cameron 54-30 and Grand Lake 42-39.
In the win over Grand Lake, the Lady Rams fell behind by 10 points before rallying for the win.
The challenge from KIPP-Booker T. Washington, Smith said, should be different than the won the Lady Rams faced against Grand Lake.
“They will not cause a problem like Grand Lake. Grand Lake had great 3-point shooters. We won’t have to worry about defending the 3-point line as well as penetration,” said Smith.
In the earlier loss to KIPP-Booker T. Washington. The Lady Rams trailed only 13-10 after one quarter. West St. John managed a total of only seven points combined in the second and third quarter to trail 44-17 heading into the fourth quarter.
“We turned the ball over a couple of times against the press,” said Smith of a KIPP-Booker T. Washington team that likes to play a 1-2-2 and 2-1-2 zone and trap.
While the Lady Rams may have had trouble against KIPP-Booker T. Washington the first time around, West St. John’s postseason fate, Smith said, could come down to the defensive play of his own team.
“We will try to press them a little bit. We will play a little bit man-to-man, something like we did against (Grand Lake). We didn’t play man-to-man. We played straight-out zone the last time we played them. Look at film, our man-to-man defense is pretty good,” Smith said.