Former Lady Rams cap stellar seasons at Xavier, ULL

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NEW ORLEANS — Maya Trench has not grown an inch since she graduated from West St. John High School last spring.

“Oh I’m done growing,” said Trench, who has topped out at 5-foot-2.

But when it comes to basketball, the diminutive young woman from Edgard has grown by leaps and bounds.

After finishing her senior season with a spot on the Class 2A All-State second team and as L’OBSERVATEUR’s Player of the Year, Trench went on to Xavier University.

There she surprised even herself by earning a spot as the starting point guard as a freshman.

She wasn’t just an ordinary freshman, though.

Among Louisiana’s freshmen women’s basketball players, Trench was the leader in games played (32), games started (31) and minutes played (923).

She had the most assists (140), the second most steals (74), the fourth most rebounds (142) and the fifth most offensive rebounds (48).

Among all women’s basketball players in the state, Trench was the first to reach 100 rebounds, 100 assists and 50 steals — the only freshman to do so.

She was one of two women players to reach 125 rebounds, 125 assists and 50 steals.

She is only the second Xavier freshman to reach 100 rebounds, 100 steals and 50 assists. She led the team in total points, total rebounds and total assists.

Earlier this month, she finished second in the voting for Louisiana Freshman of the Year, earning five of 30 first place votes and finishing in a tie with Jasmine Thomas of Louisiana-Lafayette (last year’s Class 2A Player of the Year) and Tykeria Williams of Nicholls State. Southeastern’s Charliee Dugas won the award with eight votes.

She averaged 6.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.3 steals per game, and her 1.97 assist/turnover ratio was second among all Louisiana players, regardless of classification and No. 1 among all freshmen.

Of all her accomplishments this season, Trench said she is most proud of her the spot she earned on the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference All-Defensive team — the first freshman, male or female, to do so.

“I didn’t really expect it to turn out this well,” Trench said. “I mean, I had a good feeling, but I think it could have been better.”

Trench said the whole experience was challenging for her, leaving her small town in the River Parishes for the big city of New Orleans. Trench is majoring in business at Xavier.

The basketball part was tougher, she said.

“I knew everybody was going to be bigger than me, so I had to work harder,” she said. “It definitely was a big challenge. It’s not high school anymore. I think it makes me more aggressive, knowing that I just have to make a statement because everybody underestimates the smaller player.”

Now that her first season is behind her, Trench said she can take stock.

“When you’re playing you don’t really pay attention to what you’re doing,” she said. “After the game it hits you, like, ‘Dang. I really did that. I got this amount of assists or this amount of points. During the game, you’re just trying to win the game.”

Trench isn’t the only former Lady Ram to achieve success.

Jaylyn Gordon

Jaylyn Gordon, a 5-5 senior guard at Louisiana-Lafayette closed her college career by earning a spot on the 2017 All-Louisiana women’s basketball first team.

She led the Sun Belt in scoring (17.9 points per game) and was second in the league in 3-point field goals per game (2.4). She led her team in assists (106) and steals (63).

She tied her career-high of 29 against Little Rock and South Alabama. After missing much of the 2016 season, Gordon said she tried to make the most of her final year.

“That’s what motivated me the most this year,” she said. “I had my mind set that I wanted to play the whole game. It’s bittersweet. I accomplished a lot but I didn’t do what I wanted to do, which was win the conference. I felt like I had a decent year.”

Gordon said she is thrilled for her former teammate, Trench.

“It’s good to see her follow in my footsteps,” Gordon said. “I want Maya to go big. I set the bar. I want her to pass it.”

Lady Rams coach Lester Smith said he knew his former players had bright futures.

“I’m not going to take credit for them,” he said. “They’re both very talented, very humble. I’m proud.”