Ellender's defense shuts down Riverside


Ellender's Sky Jasper (24) pulls down a rebound between a pair of Riverside Academy defenders during Wednesday's nondistrict game in Houma. (Photo by Chris Heller/Staff)


Riverside Academy kept turning the ball over, and Ellender made it pay during Wednesday's nondistrict game.

The Lady Rebels committed 28 turnovers, which slowed down their offense and helped the Lady Patriots roll to a 62-45 win. Riverside, which suffered its first loss of the season and dropped to 3-1 overall, averaged seven turnovers per quarter during Wednesday's game.

"If you have that many turnovers, it's going to be hard for you to win the ballgame," Riverside coach Kristy Hebert said. "This is very disappointing. I give credit to Ellender. They played some good defense, but at the same, we didn't control the ball. We usually don't play like that, and we hurt ourselves throughout the game."

While Riverside was busy turning the ball over, Ellender kept getting easy scoring opportunities in the paint.

The Lady Patriots never trailed in the game and jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the first quarter when Shakira Bingham got a steal in the backcourt and raced to an easy lay-up.

Ellender used a 3-pointer from Kiara Scott, who hit three of the Lady Patriots' five 3-pointers in the game, to take a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Bingham notched a three-point play with a steal and free-throw to extend the lead to 26-13. Later in the quarter, Amari Banks made big plays on offense and defense, draining a 3-pointer with a minute to go. On the next play, she got a backcourt steal and found Kelci Scott under the basket for an easy bucket that made it 40-24 at halftime. The Lady Rebels tried to get back in the game in the third quarter when Kendra Turner, a former Covenant Christian and Houma Christian product who transferred to Riverside this year, made two quick baskets to cut it to 45-30.

But Ellender continued to take advantage of Riverside turnovers and never let up on its lead.

Despite the win, Ellender coach Kenneth Dixon said he is still waiting for his young Lady Patriots to grow in his system and improve their execution at times during the game. Ellender is made up of two seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and four freshmen.

"It was a good win for us," Dixon said. "We were trying to work on some new things. I guess I have to show some patience. We're playing, but we're coming along slowly. What I need from them is execution. In order to be successful down the road in tough environments, you have to execute."

Scott led Ellender with 18 points, while Banks added 12 points and Sky Jasper scored 10 points.

Kelsey Joseph led Riverside with 16 points, while Turner and Channan Simmons each had nine points.

The win improved Ellender's record to 2-1 overall, but Dixon said it is still too early in the season for the Lady Patriots to become satisfied with their play.

"They may be satisfied, but we're trying to build something here," Dixon said. "We're on our way somewhere. We are in a tough district, and we have to get ready for it. We've got a lot of work to do, so we have no reasons to be satisfied."

VANDEBILT CATHOLIC 56, MT. CARMEL 44 (GIRLS)

At Country Day tournament, the Lady Terriers overcome a 19-13 deficit after the first quarter, outcoring Mt. Carmel 43-25 in the final three quarters for the win.

Jasmine Howard led Vandebilt (5-1) with 14 points, and also scoring in double figures were Jewel Triggs (13), Cassidy Barrios (11) and Sade Murrell (11).

The Lady Terriers will play Hammond on Friday at the tournament.

TERREBONNE 54, WHITE CASTLE 49 (GIRLS)

At the White Castle Tournament, the Lady Tigers used double overtime and 14 points from Darian Dees to improve to 4-2 on the season.

Terrebonne led 10-9 after the first quarter, 17-15 at halftime and trailed 31-24 at the end of the third quarter. The game was tied at 39 at the end of regulation and at 47 at the end of the first overtime.

The Lady Tigers play Breaux Bridge at 6:30 tonight in the tourney.

ST. JAMES 51, EPISCOPAL 48 (GIRLS)

At the St. Michael Tournament in Baton Rouge, the Lady Wildcats improved to 1-2 overall and got 20 points, which included six 3-pointers, from Shalun Geason.

Episcopal led 13-8 after the first quarter, 26-17 at halftime and 40-32 at the end of the third quarter before St. James outscored St. Michael 19-8 in the third quarter.

Kelly Celestine added 11 points for the Lady Wildcats, who play Airline at 8 tonight in the event.

MADISON PREP 51, ASSUMPTION 45 (BOYS)

At the Brusly Tournament, the Mustangs fell to 1-3 on the season and got a team-high 14 points from Malik Mills.

Madison Prep led 17-11 after the first quarter, 33-24 at halftime and 46-37 at the end of the third quarter.

Madison Prep's Jarrell Martin, an LSU signee, led all players with 19 points.

— Staff Writer Kelly McElroy.