Pelicans edge SCC

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013



LAPLACE — St. Charles fought its way back from a late deficit to create one final chance to earn a first District 7-3A victory Friday night, but Port Allen’s Rhea Lee wouldn’t let it happen.

Lee’s steal on the Comets’ final possession sealed a 28-26 Pelicans victory at St. Charles, evening Port Allen’s own district record at 1-1.

St. Charles led 16-8 after the first quarter, but never found the same offensive success, as the Pelican defense keyed a rally even as its own offense struggled against a tough Comets’ 2-3 zone.

“It wasn’t anything specific that we changed. There were really no changes, just our players stepped it up,” said Port Allen coach Demetrius White. “Once we warmed up, we got down to doing what was needed.”

J’Myrehea Douglas scored 10 to lead Port Allen (9-11, 1-1). Gabby Thomas scored seven and Denisha Wolfe scored six.

Kaitlyn Lowry and Courtney Snyder each scored six to lead SCC. Julia Cupit added five.

St. Charles coach Larry Betancourt was proud of his team’s defensive effort, but added that offensively, the Comets must cut down on turnovers as district rolls along. SCC (4-15) has allowed an average of just 32.5 points per game in two district games and has allowed 10 points or more in just two of eight quarters. But the Comets have scored no more than 30 in either game.

“We crowded the paint and sagged back. We wanted to make them take jumpers,” said St. Charles coach Larry Betancourt. “I thought we did that and contested their shots quickly. Jaelen did a good job at defending (Douglas) in the post.

“Offensively, We made too many mistakes. We have to do a better job of getting it inside, and we’ll continue to work on that. But I’m proud of the girls. They gave it everything tonight.”

St. Charles rolled early after Snyder got the Comets started by sinking a jumper to tie the game at 2-2. Lowry banked home another score, then Snyder scored on a drive to make it 6-2. A pair of mid-range jumpers by Cupit gave SCC a 10-2 advantage in the opening quarter.

Thomas sparked Port Allen by sinking a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around a Lowry jumper; that made it 12-8. Jaelen Bryant scooped up a loose ball and put in a short shot to make it 14-8, then Lowry scored a basket just as time expired in the first quarter.

But SCC scored just two points in the second quarter and a single point in the third quarter as Port Allen marched back. A third quarter put-back by Douglas gave Port Allen its first lead since the game’s opening basket at 19-18. Veronique Thomas canned a 3 to extend Port Allen’s lead to five.

The Pelicans led 24-19 in the fourth quarter when a Brooke Tregre bank shot made it a 3-point game. Two Gabby Thomas free throws pushed Port Allen back ahead by five, but Bryant sank a jumper to again pull SCC within striking distance.

The Comets missed opportunities to draw even closer with 2:30 remaining, first missing an open layup, then turning the ball over with 2:05 left. Douglas made a big basket underneath at the other end, then Port Allen forced another SCC turnover with 1:30 left.

Bryant missed a 3 with just under a minute left, but SCC gave themselves a chance when Heidi Roussel came off the bench and scored an ‘and-1’ layup with 34 seconds remaining. She sank the free throw for a 3-point play, making it 28-26.

SCC fouled Veronique Thomas with 8.6 seconds remaining; she missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and SCC pushed it up the floor. But Lee came up with a steal at the other end and Port Allen held on as time expired.