Bastrop 49, Franklin Parish 46

Jaleya Peoples came off the bench to score two buckets during a pivotal 8-0 fourth quarter run as the Bastrop Lady Rams trimmed Franklin Parish 49-46 Friday night in the District 2-4A opener for both teams.

Despite enduring some adversity, both teams played hard in an entertaining contest at Sam's Place.

Destiny Cephas dropped in 17 points and Cynthia Washington 15 to make Theabury Odom a winner in his debut as the Lady Rams' interim head coach. Odom, the boys' veteran head coach, was assigned double duty when Gerline Guillaume was let go as part of the Morehouse Parish School Board's December staff cutbacks. With schools merging due to a financial shortfall, numerous non-certified teachers were laid off over the holidays.

Head football coach Adrian Burnette and several football assistants, including Randall Mackey, the school's first Parade All-American, were also victims of the school system's workforce reduction. Burnette has since been hired as Wossman's offensive coordinator.

A former ULM basketball player, Guillaume was in her second season as the Lady Rams' head coach. She coached Bastrop through the Sterlington Shootout (Dec. 27-29). Like Burnette, Guillaume wasn't out of work for long. She starts a new job Monday as an assistant at Franklin Parish.

Bastrop had only two practices under its new coach before jumping into conference play.

"We put in new sets," Odom said. "Considering they had only two practices to learn the new sets, I thought the girls did really well. Any time you can start out 1-0 in district, that's a plus.

"The last couple of days, we practiced really hard and it kind of showed fatigue-wise. It's going to take a while to get back into the flow of playing after the holidays."

Franklin Parish was in the game most of the way despite losing its leading scorer late in the third quarter. Point guard Zinerra McCarthy left the game favoring her left leg and did not return.

With the game tied at 41 with 3:21 remaining, the Lady Rams scored on their next four possessions to take control of the game.

Peoples drove for the go-ahead layup to put Bastrop ahead to stay. After a defensive stop, Cynthia Washington drove the right baseline, Tiffany Washington fed Mia Hardin down low and Peoples converted a steal into a layup to put the Lady Rams up 49-41 with just over a minute to go.

Latrice Watkins finished on the break to end the Lady Patriots' dry spell, and Kadajah Hanks made three free throws with no time left on the clock to wrap up the scoring.

"I thought we did some good things defensively," Odom said. "Overall, I thought we played well down the stretch."

Bastrop never trailed in the first half. Cephas' free throw snapped a 5-all tie, Cynthia Washington put back her own rebound and Cephas navigated the left baseline to give the Lady Rams a 10-5 lead at the end of the quarter.

Cynthia Washington's layup capped a 7-0 run to start the second quarter scoring.

Bastrop matched its biggest lead of the half, 24-17, on Cephas' three-point play before McCarthy's runner brought the score to 24-19 at intermission.

Continuing to hang around, the Lady Patriots closed the gap to 34-32 going into the fourth quarter.

Cynthia Washington's steal and long pass to Cephas on the break opened the fourth quarter scoring. Two minutes into the final frame, Cynthia Washington made the front end of a shooting foul to put the Lady Rams up 37-32.

Continuing to compete, the Lady Patriots went on an 8-0 flurry to grab their first and only lead of the evening. Back-to-back, long-range 3-pointers by Laki Crockett and Raven Scott's bucket from the paint off of a Zy Eaton assist put Franklin Parish on top 40-37 with 4:19 remaining.

"No. 35 hit some big shots," Odom said of Crockett. "She was shooting from NBA range. Our guards were going out as far as I wanted them to go. We finally had to box (and one) her."

Bastrop regained the lead, 41-40, on Cynthia Washington's mid-range jumper and a pair of Cephas free throws with 3:40 to play.

Franklin Parish tied the game at 41 two possessions later when Eaton sank the front end of a two-shot foul.

Cephas scored at least four points in every quarter en route to posting 17 points. Cynthia Washington picked up five of her 15 points in the final frame. Rounding out the scoring for Bastrop (6-11, 1-0) were Peoples with seven, Hardin with six and Tiffany Washington and Jamese Rabun with two apiece.

McCarthy led the Lady Patriots (3-12, 0-1) with 13 points despite sitting out the final nine-plus minutes. Crockett sank a trio of 3s in an 11-point outing. FPHS also received nine from Watkins, five from Hanks, four from Scott, three from Karneisha Stewart and one from Eaton.

Both teams have some work to do at the free throw line as the Lady Rams were 9-for-26 (34.6) and the Lady Patriots went 9-of-27 (33.3 percent).

Bastrop resumes district play Friday night in Cadeville vs. West Ouachita at 6 p.m.

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BOX SCORE

Franklin Parish ... 5 14 13 14—46

Bastrop ............... 10 14 10 15—49

FRANKLIN PARISH (3-12, 0-1) — Zinerra McCarthy 13, Laki Crockett 11, Latrice Watkins 9, Kadajah Hanks 5, Raven Scott 4, Karneisha Stewart 3, Zy Eaton 1.

BASTROP (6-11, 1-0) — Destiny Cephas 17, Cynthia Washington 15, Jaleya Peoples 7, Mia Hardin 6, Tiffany Washington 2, Jamese Rabun 2.

Three-point goals — Franklin Parish 5 (Crockett 3, Stewart 1, Watkins 1), Bastrop 0. Total fouls — Franklin Parish 18, Bastrop 20. Free throw shooting — Franklin Parish 9-27, Bastrop 26. Fouled out — Crockett (1:05, 4th), Tiffany Washington (0:7.8, 4th).