In a grind-it-out game against Helen Cox on Friday night, a key 3-pointer by Thibodaux guard Destiny Batiste near the end of the third quarter got the Lady Tigers basketball team and its fans going on Day 2 of the Thibodaux Christmas Classic.
Batiste nailed the 3-pointer from the wing that gave Thibodaux a four-point lead entering the fourth quarter and the Lady Tigers used that shot and the energy from its crowd to take a 45-33 victory.
Batiste and Lady Tigers post player Bren’naisa Adams each scored 17 points to lead Thibodaux (10-5 overall) in scoring.
“We started slow and we tried to pick it up. We just had to focus,” Batiste said. “We came together as a team and did what we had to do to. Our crowd and bench had our back.”’
Thibodaux extended its lead in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Cougars (11-7 overall) did cut it to 5 at 34-29 with 3:28 left only to see Batiste drive to goal, score, get fouled and make the free throw and that was all the space Thibodaux needed for the win.
Thibodaux led 12-6 after the first quarter and it was tied at 15 at halftime.
“We started slow and I told them we needed to handle business in the second half,” Thibodaux coach Ashley Adams said. “Destiny is a playmaker. She is going to attack the rim and score or hit a shot to get us going. She does what we need her to do. She helps us keep our composure.”
Helen Cox got 13 points from Mya Phillips and 10 points from Briera Encalade.
“With the holidays and all, we were kind of sluggish,” Lady Cougars coach Barbra Weary-Cox said. “We only got one practice in during the break, but we kept it close. They just hit a run and used that home-court advantage and the crowd got into it. We needed to make a defensive stop and we allowed them too many second-chance points. We wanted a competitive game and we got it.”
Coach Adams said the school and the Lady Tigers takes a lot of pride in hosting the tourney.
“This is the first tournament we have put on so that in itself is exciting,” Coach Adams said. “I told the girls we have to come out here and perform. We want to represent our school and our community in the best way possible and I think they are doing a good job of that.”
Batiste said it’s Thibodaux goal to go undefeated at the event. So far so good. The Lady Tigers opened the event with a 53-37 win over Donaldsonville on Thursday.
“We said from the beginning that we wanted to take all our wins in our tournament,” Batiste said. “We want to make a statement. This is our home and we want to protect it.”
The tourney concludes with three games today -- Ellender vs. Donaldsonville at 11 a.m., South Lafourche vs. Helen Cox at 12:30 p.m. and Thibodaux vs. New Iberia at 2 p.m.
SOUTH LAFOURCHE 69, DONALDSONVILLE 40 (GIRLS)
Earlier at the Thibodaux Christmas Classic on Friday, the Lady Tarpons led 20-12 after the first quarter, 40-23 at halftime and 55-36 at the end of the third quarter and improved to 12-6 overall.
“I think we played really well,” South Lafourche coach Rainie Terrebonne said. “Our shots weren’t falling early, but once we got going, we never looked back.”
The Lady Tarpons got 18 points from Victorianna Nelson (11 rebounds, six steals), 16 points each from Traya Bruce (six steals, five assists, five rebounds) and Abigail Bouzigard (seven rebounds), seven points from Makayla Bynum and six points from Sierra Lerille.
South Lafourche has gotten scoring from numerous different players all season.
“That has been really great,” Terrebonne said. “It’s not always the same person scoring. We have gotten it across the board. When some of their shots aren’t falling, they are getting the ball places to make other people’s shots available. It’s been really good for us.”
Donaldsonville fell to 11-7 overall.
FRIDAY’S AREA GIRLS BASKETBALL CAPSULES
ELLENDER 60, NEW IBERIA 30 (at the Thibodaux Christmas Classic)
Score by quarter: Ellender led 21-6 after the first quarter, 39-10 at halftime and 44-23 at the end of the third quarter.
Statistical leaders: Ellender – Terris McKay (15 points), Orieon James (13 points), Morgan Frierson (11 points), J’lisha Holly (nine points)
Records: Ellender (9-4 overall); New Iberia (7-9 overall)
TERREBONNE 44, L.W. HIGGINS 36 (at the Academy of Our Lady Tournament in Marrero)
Statistical leaders: Terrebonne – Trinity Pierce (12 points), Taylor Hartman (10 points)
Records: Terrebonne (7-10 overall); Higgins (9-4 overall)
HOUMA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 37, SOUTH TERREBONNE 34, OT (at the Academy of Our Lady Tournament in Marrero)
Score by quarter: It was tied at 4 at the end of the first quarter, Houma Christian led 9-6 at halftime and 15-14 at the end of the third quarter and the game went to overtime tied at 27.
Statistical leaders: Houma Christian – Jordan Marie (17 points), Xariel Washington (eight points); South Terrebonne – Lexie Maddox (11 points), Chloe Fleming (nine points)
Records: Houma Christian (14-2 overall); South Terrebonne (12-5 overall)
MORGAN CITY 56, E.D. WHITE CATHOLIC 43 (at Morgan City, nondistrict game)
Score by quarter: Morgan City led 18-9 after the first quarter, 32-20 at halftime and 46-29 at the end of the third quarter.
Statistical leaders: EDW – Caroline Delaune (15 points), Grace Ann Clement (nine points), Elise Callais (seven points)
Records: Morgan City (10-7 overall); EDW (7-7 overall)
ASSUMPTION 55, BROADMOOR 35 (at the Episcopal Tournament in Baton Rouge)
Score by quarter: Assumption led 14-10 after the first quarter, 32-14 at halftime and 46-21 at the end of the third quarter.
Statistical leaders: Assumption – Ra’Von Robertson (20 points), Tio’zsalon Hill (14 points)
Note: Assumption fell 52-48 to Doyle in the event on Thursday night.
Records: Assumption (7-8 overall); Broadmoor (4-15 overall)
ST. JAMES 69, BRUSLY 41 (at St. James, nondistrict game)
Score by quarter: St. James led 26-5 after the first quarter, 32-16 at halftime and 51-26 at the end of the third quarter
Statistical leaders: St. James – Lauryn Scott (28 points), Raevon Fletcher (25 points), Charity Cooper (nine points)
Records: St. James (6-14 overall); Brusly (7-6 overall)
--Compiled by sports writer Kelly McElroy.