Proving it could win with its mid-range game, the Bastrop Lady Rams turned back a pesky West Ouachita squad 55-43 in the regular season finale at Sam's Place.
Thanks to West Ouachita's 48-38 upset of Wossman on Friday night, the Lady Rams (17-6, 5-3) were able to clinch second place in District 2-4A outright Monday night. Bastrop and Wossman were expected to play off a tiebreaker at Rayville on Tuesday, before the Lady Chiefs disrupted those plans. (Not that the Lady Rams had any qualms about the extra game being deemed unnecessary).
Bastrop, which stood at No. 13 in the LHSAA power rankings prior to Monday's game, now awaits the playoff pairings. Barring any drastic changes in the power rankings, the Lady Rams will open the playoffs at home on Monday.
West Ouachita wasn't able to pull off its second straight upset against Bastrop, but the Lady Chiefs made the Lady Rams earn their Senior Night victory. In a game in which its dynamic inside duo of Michelle Hardin and Danielle Greely was held in check, Bastrop guards Deja Robinson and Katajma Burrell shot lights out, primarily from the baseline. Robinson scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half and Burrell added 12 points, six in the first half. Bastrop scored its 55 points on 27 2-point field goals and only one free throw.
“Deja, Katajma and Jalijah all did a good job tonight,” Bastrop coach Emma Brooks said. “At the first of the year, we were relying on our big girls down low. Teams recognized that and started packing their zone in and double teaming our big girls. To contrast that, our guards had to start shooting the ball with consistency. Later in the year, they have gained some confidence so we can go to them and count on them to make some shots, which opens up the zone. Those young ladies made some big shots for us tonight.”
Though limited to a collective 14 points, Hardin and Greely both did their part on the boards. Hardin totaled eight points and 10 rebounds, while Greely recorded six points and a dozen caroms.
Point guard Tiara Brooks, meanwhile, pitched in four points while leading the Lady Rams in assists (6) and steals (5).
Bastrop appeared to be on its way to a blowout victory early on. Wheeler opened the scoring with an elbow jumper, Hardin and Greely added putbacks and Tiara Brooks dished to an open Burrell, who connected from the left baseline. Just like that, the Lady Rams had opened up a quick 8-0 lead.
West Ouachita wouldn't go away, however. Ayanna Griffin's basket drew the Lady Chiefs within 10-6, before Burrell nailed jumpers from the left baseline on consecutive possessions to send the Lady Rams' lead back to eight, 14-6, at the end of the quarter.
Page 2 of 2 - Undeterred, the Lady Chiefs closed within 19-16 with 1:39 left in the half when Lindsey Davis found the bottom of the net from just inside the 3-point arc.
“I respect West Ouachita for the way they have come on late in the year,” coach Brooks said. “For them to be able to beat Wossman, they have really come a long way. They played consistent tonight and never shut it down. They were No. 30 in the power rankings and came in here with the mindset that winning this game would get them into the playoffs. They were on a high from beating Wossman and felt like, 'We can go into Bastrop and whip Bastrop.' They were ready to lay it all on the line.”
Burrell's 12-foot jumper and Wheeler's 15-footer gave the Lady Rams some breathing room, 23-16, at halftime.
West Ouachita was never closer than seven in the second half.
Bastrop gradually built its lead to 14 by the end of the third quarter, going up 39-25 on Hardin's eight-footer from the lane.
Bastrop opened up a 16-point lead on three occasions early in the fourth quarter. Still, 3-pointers by West Ouachita's Cindy Brown and Hannah Blake prevented the game from getting out of hand. Coach Brooks never felt entirely comfortable, changing defenses three times.
“Our 3-2 pressure did not stop them,” coach Brooks said. “They were focused on what they were trying to do. Our man-to-man didn't take them out of their gameplan. We went to the 2-3 and they still made some 3s.”
Rebecca Skains scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half to lead West Ouachita and Brown tossed in 10.
Bastrop 44, Franklin Parish 38
Michelle Hardin poured in 12 of her 16 points in the second half as the Lady Rams defeated Franklin Parish in Winnsboro on Friday night.
Bastrop was up 19-13 at halftime and the two teams played on even terms throughout the second half. Both teams scored eight points in the third frame and 17 in the fourth.
Bastrop overcame 32 turnovers for the win.
Hardin received scoring support from Tiara Brooks with nine, Danielle Greely with seven, Jalijah Wheeler with six, Katajma Burrell with four and Tia Coleman with two.
JoRhonda Wilhite topped the Lady Patriots' scoring column with 13 points on three 3-pointers. Myeshi Ellis scored all 11 of her points in the second half, Tenisha Pleasant added eight, Juleci Heard four and Daylive Miles two.