St. James run ends in quarters

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 27, 2010



TALLULAH – Just as it was a year ago, St. James’ quest to reach the Ladies’ Top 28 tournament was denied in the quarterfinal round.

The seventh-seeded Wildcats fell at No. 2 Madison Thursday night, 69-58, in a Class 3A playoff game. It ends St. James’ season with a mark of 23-10.

“We couldn’t handle their size,” said St. James coach Amy Blanchard. “I thought we could with our speed, but we could never get over the hump. It’s just a tough loss.”

Madison advances to the state semifinals in Hammond to play Baker, the tournament’s third seed.

Carolyn Harris led the way for Madison with 25 points and 10 assists.

She was dueled for most of the night by St. James leading scorer Brandi Jeffrey, who finished her junior season with a 34-point effort.

Markeisha Keller finished with 12 points.

The two teams were tied at 13 after a quarter before Madison (29-3) started to create separation in the second, outscoring the Wildcats 21-12 to take a 34-25 halftime lead.

SJH tied the game in the third quarter, but fell behind by seven entering the fourth.

“It seemed like we couldn’t catch a break,” said Blanchard.

St. James made one final push in the fourth, cutting its deficit to three with 1:57 left, but Madison was able to close it out from there.

Madison outshot St. James at the foul line, making 23-of-28 free throws to St. James’ 9-of-15.

“22 makes, it really makes it hard on you,” said Blanchard.

Tequilla Vaughn had 19 points and 15 rebounds for Madison.