Neville 47, Bastrop 24
Sweeping through district play undefeated for the third straight season, Neville breezed to a 47-24 victory over the Bastrop Lady Rams on Friday night.
Cynthia Washington, Bastrop's lone senior (girls or boys), was recognized prior to the game.
Scoring on their first three possessions, the Lady Tigers led from wire-to-wire.
Raven Franklin connected from just inside the 3-point line, Madison Hicks finished on the break after a Franklin steal, and Jajana Briggs nailed a spinning one-hander from the paint to give the Lady Tigers an early 6-0 advantage.
Neville was up 13-5 at the end of the opening quarter and stretched the margin to 25-14 at the break.
Erasing any doubt, the Lady Tigers opened the second half with a 19-0 blitz. Franklin started the run with a 3-pointer and finished it with a pair of buckets from down low. Madison Hicks added five points and three assists in the quarter.
Washington ended the Lady Rams' eight-minute scoring drought with a jumper from the key off of a LaZauri Sutton assist, but Neville carried a commanding 44-16 lead into the final frame.
"This game was a great learning experience," Bastrop coach Theabury Odom said. "They were able to get a better understanding of why I keep telling them you can't dribble through the press. We don't have the speed to simulate what Neville did tonight in practice."
Bastrop (7-17, 2-4), which entered the game at No. 34 in the power rankings, will miss the playoffs barring any unexpected developments.
It was a difficult year for the Lady Rams. A budget shortfall led to the merger of several Morehouse Parish schools and a reduction in staff after the Christmas/New Year holidays. Coach Gerline Guillaume, who was in her second season as the Lady Rams' coach, was among those affected by the layoffs. Odom, the boys' veteran coach, finished out the season as the Lady Rams' interim coach.
"I really enjoyed coaching them," said Odom, who coached his first girls team. "They learned a lot in a short period of time. I was tough on them, and I applaud their effort. One thing I have to say for them is they are a tough group of girls.
"Hopefully, they learned something from me. I know I learned some things from them. I wish them nothing but the best in the future."
Coach Lorrie Guimbellot's Lady Tigers (22-9, 6-0), meanwhile, await the release of the playoff brackets. Neville, which stood at No. 6 in the power rankings as of Friday afternoon, has earned home court advantage for the first round.
Hicks paced a balanced attack against Bastrop with 11 points. Franklin and Mackenzie Donaldson had nine apiece, followed by Madison Donaldson with seven, Briggs with five, DeKayla Howard with three, Precious Robinson with two and Gabrielle Meadows with one.
Destiny Cephas was responsible for half of Bastrop's scoring with 12 points on a pair of 3s. Makayla Hilliard, Washington, Jamese Rabun, Sutton and Martianna Johnson contributed two points apiece.
Neville ............. 13 12 19 3—47
Bastrop ..............5 ... 9 ..2 8—24
NEVILLE (22-9, 6-0) — Madison Hicks 11, Raven Franklin 9, Mackinzie Donaldson 9, Madison Donaldson 7, Jajana Briggs 5, Dekayla Howard 3, Precious Robinson 2, Gabrielle Meadows 1.
BASTROP (7-17, 2-4) — Destiny Cephas 12, Makayla Hilliard 2, Mia Hardin 2, Cynthia Washington 2, Jamese Rabun 2, LaZauri Sutton 2, Martianna Johnson 2.
Three-point goals — Neville 4 (Madison Donaldson, Franklin, Mackenzie Donaldson, Hicks), Bastrop 2 (Hicks). Total fouls — Neville 3, Bastrop 14. Free throw shooting — Neville 7-17, Bastrop 0-2. Fouled out — none. Technicals — none.