Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 18, 1998

By Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / February 18, 1998

LUTCHER – Donaldsonville used a strong inside game to defeat Lutcher, 66- 50, in the District 10-3A playoff game Monday evening in the Bulldogs gym.

The victory gave the Lady Tigers the district title with a 6-1 record.

Donaldsonville, 32-1 overall with its only loss coming at Lutcher earlier in the season, will host a bi-district game against a wild card team.

Lutcher fell to second in district with a 5-2 record. The Lady Bulldogs,17-14 overall, will also be at home for the first round of the playoffs, hosting Rayne, the District 6-3A runnerup.

The teams had split their series during the regular season with each squad winning on its home court. But this time the Lady Tigers’ inside gameproved to be the difference with center Kaisha Lymon leading the way with 18 points. Delacey Joseph contributed 13 points, while Erica Northand Malette Herbert added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

April Benn led the way for the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points. Altreca Starktossed in 12 points, while Shameka Jackson, Shanda Johnson and Trynell Fleming added eight points apiece.

The teams traded baskets earlier with the Lady Bulldogs grabbing a 5-4 lead as Johnson took a pass from Jackson underneath. Lutcher continued tohang tough, taking its final lead at 9-7 as Fleming buried a jump shot from the left baseline.

Donaldsonville tied the score on a pass from North to Joseph inside and went ahead to stay on a bounce pass from Joseph to Alayasia Delaney. TheLady Tigers kept up the pressure as Lymon grabbed a rebound and passed it to North driving down the lane. After a jump shot by Fleming, Herbert andNorth scored on layups to give the Lady Tigers a 17-11 lead after the first quarter.

Johnson opened the second quarter with a short jumper, but Donaldsonville answered with a 8-3 run to take a 25-16 lead. Joseph grabbed a steal andpassed downcourt to Delaney. Delaney was fouled on the layup attempt,hitting the free throw to complete the three-point play. Delaney followedwith a rebound, passing it ahead to North to give the Lady Cats the nine- point advantage.

Lutcher bounced back with a three-point play by Benn to pull to within 25- 19. Donaldsonville responded with a 9-2 run to take a 34-21 lead into thebreak. Joseph keyed the run with five points, including a 3-pointer fromthe left side. Joseph and North led all scorers with nine points at the half.Donaldsonville pulled out to a 38-23 lead at the start of the second half as Joseph drove the lane and dumped off a pass to Herbert on the left baseline. The teams traded points throughout the quarter until Lymon tooka pass from North inside to give the Lady Tigers their biggest lead at 47- 30 with 2:12 remaining.

Lutcher rallied as Johnson hit a jumper from the baseline and Jackson scored underneath to cut the deficit to 47-34 at the end of the third quarter. The rally continued into the fourth quarter as Johnson grabbed asteal and tossed it downcourt to Jackson, cutting the deficit to 11. Butthat was the closest the Lady Bulldogs could get as the Lady Tigers built their lead to 16 on a drive by Danielle Foster with over a minute left.

“I would say they were disappointed but not discouraged,” Lutcher coach Janie Ryland said of her team.

Ryland said there was not any doubt before the game that the Lady Bulldogs could defeat the number one team in Class 3A for the second time this season.

“The kids never felt that way,” Ryland said. “We are not going to takeanyone for granted, but we are also not going to back down from anyone.

They just did what they had to to win.”

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