Sterlington 41, Bastrop 40

Kaela Mullins' three-point play with 6.8 seconds remaining propelled Sterlington to a 41-40 win over Bastrop in a preseason matchup Monday afternoon.

Bastrop and Sterlington split the four eight-minute segments with the Lady Rams winning the first (12-9) and third (13-10) and the Lady Panthers claiming the second (7-2) and fourth (15-13).

Javia Kennedy opened the scoring with a three-point play and knocked down a 17-footer at the end of the frame as Bastrop won the opening quarter 12-6.

"I was impressed with Bastrop," Sterlington coach Mike Crumpler said. "They have more than the one shooter. The point guard (Kennedy) has some speed. One time we trapped, and we couldn't keep up with her.

"We have two small guards and they didn't want to get out there far enough (on defense), so we moved Kaela up top."

Bastrop coach Gerline Guillaume was more interested in seeing what the Lady Rams need to work on than the result.

"I wasn't looking at who won or who lost," Guillaume said. "I wanted to see what we have to do to prepare for our next game."

Guillaume found several areas to address.

"We missed a lot of free throws and we missed a lot of layups," Guillaume said. "We made a lot of mental mistakes tonight. That's something we are going to have to work on."

Sterlington scored the first seven points of the second quarter on Michaela Waters' rebound bucket, Jayla Stewart's runner and transition layup and Mullins' free throw.

Kennedy's three-point play snapped a 6-6 tie in the third quarter.

Waters made one-of-two from the line to close the gap to 9-7 before the Lady Rams put the game away on Trinity Norwood's rebound deuce and Kennedy's goal from the left baseline.

Up 4-2 early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Panthers assumed control. Stewart completed a three-point play and followed her own miss to start an 8-0 spurt. Victoria Vaughan then made one-of-two from the stripe and finished in the paint to give the Lady Panthers a commanding 12-2 advantage.

Bastrop answered with a three-point salvo as Washington nailed back-to-back 3s and Kennedy connected from beyond the arc.

Moments later, Kennedy buried a jumper from the left side off the inbounds pass to put the Lady Rams up 13-12.

Mullins then sliced through the middle of the lane, drew the foul and sank the & one with 6.8 seconds remaining to give the Lady Panthers a 15-13 victory.

"There were a lot of good teaching points," Crumpler said. "We got to work against a zone and an athletic team. It was pretty exciting at the end. Our kids on the bench were really into the game. I was glad to see that."

Waters was high scorer for the Lady Panthers with 12 points. Stewart was next with nine, Mullins had seven, Vaughan, Madeline Rogers and Jayme Broadway had three apiece, with two each from Ashleigh Davis and Brianna Logan.

"We knew going in that Kaela is going to be our go-to scorer," Crumpler said. "If we get people stepping up like H20 (Waters) did, we'll be okay. I thought Kaela played hard even though she didn't score. I thought all of our kids played hard."

For Bastrop, Kennedy led all scorers with 16 points and Washington scored eight of her 10 points in the final frame. Casual Williams scored five points in the first quarter before leaving early to attend driver's ed class. Rounding out the Lady Rams' scoring were Mia Hardin and Destiny Cephus with three, Trinity Norwood with two and Jamese Rabun with one.

Bastrop will play in the Franklin Parish Jamboree on Saturday, Nov. 11. Home for the jamboree, the Lady Panthers are paired against Ouachita Christian on Thursday, Nov. 9.