Ellender holds off Lady Mustangs

Assumption's Kevreion Ward (14) and Ellender's Amari Banks (left) battle for a loose ball during Tuesday's District 8-4A opener in Napoleonville. (Photo by Abby Tabor/Staff)

NAPOLEONVILLE — The look on Ellender coach Kenneth Dixon's face said it all.

After the Lady Patriots claimed a 53-44 victory over Assumption in the District 8-4A opener on Tuesday, the longtime Ellender coach was visibly disappointed with his team's performance.

Dixon said he was upset with the Lady Patriots' numerous mental mistakes on offense and defense. Ellender committed more than 15 turnovers and missed several lay-ups and free-throws on offense.

"That was awful," Dixon said. "I thought we were prepared for it (the District 8-4A opener), but evidently, we're not. We've got a lot more work to do."

Despite the mistakes, Ellender never trailed during the game, taking leads of 20-14 at the end of the first quarter, 35-25 at halftime and 45-37 at the end of the third quarter.

Assumption attempted to make a run in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 48-40 on a 3-pointer from Yasmin Jacobs with 6:14 remaining.

But Ellender (11-4 overall, 1-0 in district) got key baskets from leading scorers Sky Jasper (14 points) and Shakira Bingham (10 points) down the stretch to pull away with the win.

Assumption coach Julius Aucoin said the Lady Mustangs struggled to take care of business in the paint.

"We just didn't rebound well," Aucoin said. "We allowed them to have to many second and third chance shots at the basket. That was our downfall there."

Other leading scorers for Ellender were Kiara Scott and Taima Danos with eight points each.

Dixon said Ellender will work more on the fundamentals at practice this week.

"We need to take care of the simple things," Dixon said. "The routine things. We don't need to be anything spectacular. We just need to take care of basic fundamentals. I thought we were there, but I guess we have a ways to go."

Amanda Gianelloni led Assumption (10-8, 0-1 in district) with 13 points, while Jacobs scored 10 points and Cassie Ratcliff added eight points.

Aucoin said he was inspired by his team's performance late in the game, when they turned a 19-point deficit in the third quarter into a eight-point margin in the fourth quarter.

"I got to give it to our girls. They did not give up," Aucoin said. "We limited them to one shot (in the fourth), and we were able to run our base offense. That cut the lead down. We just got to continue to get better every day in practice. We got to work hard and get better."


At Napoleonville, Jasi Barabin scored a lay-up as time expired to help the Patriots win the district opener for both teams.

The game-winning play was set up on a pass from guard Eric Welch, who pushed the ball up the paint and found Barabin open under the goal for the final basket.

Ellender coach Cornell Scott said the Patriots (10-8, 1-0 in 8-4A) executed the final play to perfection.

"We called timeout because we wanted to get something good," Scott said. "Not just something quick. We wanted to get something good, and we put our players in a good situation. Eric made a great drive. Actually, it was a call for him (to take last shot), but he made the decision to drop it right down to Jasi, and it just was a good play."

Ellender, which led 10-8 at the end of the first quarter, 27-25 at halftime and 44-42 at the end of the third quarter, got 20 points from Cameron Parfait, 10 points from Justin Johnson, seven points from Leland Alexander and five points from Barabin.

Assumption led 53-51 with 33.1 seconds left, but Ellender got a lay-up from Parfait and forced a Mustangs turnover in the backcourt to set up the game-winning score.

Assumption coach Roland Moore said the Mustangs let the victory slip through their fingers.

"It was tough because we were just that close," Moore said. "We had opportunities, but we just had costly turnovers. We just have to learn out to close out games and not make mistakes at the end."

Leaders for Assumption (2-15, 0-1 in district) were Michael Muse (12 points) and Denzell Johnson, Coy Smith and Malik Mills all with 10 points each.


At Houma, the Terriers upped their record to 12-6 overall and 1-0 in District 8-4A and started the game with four quick points from Tanner Whatley and later held off the Gators (3-12, 0-1 in district).

Elijah McGuire led Vandebilt with 17 points, and Justen Harris and Bailey Pere each added nine points for the Terriers.


At Houma, the Lady Terriers raced out to a 45-0 halftime lead and cruised to the easy win in the District 8-4A opener on Tuesday.

Sade' Murrerll led the Lady Terriers (17-3, 1-0 in district) with 16 points. Other double-digit scorers for Vandebilt were Shakira Harding (13), Jewel Triggs (12) and Jasmine Howard (11).

The Lady Gators fell to 2-8 and 0-1 in district.


At Baton Rouge, the Lions got 12 points from Datren Williams and 11 points and five assists from Brandon Woods in improving to 10-3 overall.

The Lions led 18-6 after the first quarter, 35-21 at halftime and 47-27 at the end of the third quarter.

Mark George added 10 points in the win.


At Baton Rouge, Moriah Trujillo led the Lady Lions with six points as they fell to 1-12 on the season