Tigers top Lady Rams in first round

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 15, 2008


Sports Editor

The No. 4 seeded Oak Grove Lady Tigers entered the 2008 postseason as winners of 13 of their last 14 games, their sights set on reaching the Ladies’ Top 28 tournament only a year removed from being eliminated in the first round.

West St. John was the first obstacle the Tigers would face. The Rams were making their return to the postseason after a two-year hiatus.

But Oak Grove ensured it would be a short stay, winning 62-29 at home in the bi-district round on Thursday night.

The Tigers (22-6), who boast three players at 6’0 or taller, had too much interior presence for the Lady Rams to match up with.

“They weren’t beating us with outside shooting, they just continued to pound us on the inside,” said West St. John Coach Lester Smith. “They beat us on the offensive and defensive boards, and we didn’t have the size to match up with them.”

West St. John (8-9) had success early in the first quarter, getting out to an 8-4 lead.

But troubles at the foul line stunted the Ram momentum. WSJ missed seven free throw attempts in the first quarter.

Oak Grove (fought back to tie the game, and take a 13-9 lead into the second quarter.

At that point, the Tigers went almost exclusively to the inside game.

They outscored the Rams 22-5 in the second quarter, and never looked back.

“Our kids played real hard. They were just outmanned,” said Smith.

Oak Grove’s Catherine Crowe scored 22 points to lead all scorers.

West St. John’s Ambria Major led the Rams with eight points.

It would have likely taken a perfect game for the Rams to pull off the first round upset and advance. But Smith put the season in perspective – his team is moving forward.

Our goal was to have a winning season, and we did that,” he said. “Another was to make the playoffs, and we did that, too. Finally, we wanted to advance, and we weren’t able to. But it was still a good season.”