Lady Gators come back on Lady Braves


The H.L. Bourgeois Lady Braves travelled to South Terrebonne to battle the Lady Gators Thursday in Bourg. (Photo by Benjamin Oliver Hicks/Staff)


By the middle of the third quarter of Thursday’s nondistrict girls basketball game between H.L. Bourgeois and South Terrebonne, the only question left to be answered wasn’t whether the Lady Braves would win, but by how much.

Apparently someone forgot to run that question by South Terrebonne.

The Lady Gators erased a 22-point deficit in the final 10-plus minutes of regulation and caught the luck of the rim on a shot at the buzzer to cap off a thrilling 49-47 comeback victory over H.L. Bourgeois Thursday.

With the score tied at 47-all in the final seconds, South Terrebonne (3-8 overall) drove the ball up the floor and Monet Cox attempted a potential game-winning shot.

Cox’s shot didn’t fall, but Bethany Clay grabbed the rebound and threw up one last gasp with just a second on the clock. An entire gymnasium of fans, students, players and coaches looked on as the shot bounced around the rim for what seemed like an eternity before the ball cleared the hoop and gave the Lady Gators a stunning victory.

Afterward, the entire South Terrebonne bench emptied onto the floor to form a wild celebration with the rest of the team near midcourt.

Why not? It was the only time all night that South Terrebonne led in the game.

“That last shot, I don’t know what that was,” an ecstatic Lady Gators coach Caleb White said. “It just fell in there. I was just elated, man. It was awesome.”

And it couldn’t have come at a better time for a South Terrebonne team that lost, 70-7, to Vandebilt Catholic just two days earlier.

The Lady Gators showed no signs of a hangover in this one, even when things looked bleak.

South Terrebonne started its rally late in the third quarter. Trailing 41-19 with less than three minutes to play in the period, the Lady Gators embarked on an 8-0 run to end the quarter thanks to a 3-pointer from Cox and three foul shots by Kelsey Pellegrin.

H.L. Bourgeois (4-15) still led, 41-27, after the third, but now the Lady Gators were showing life. Not only that, but South Terrebonne’s switch to a full-court press defense befuddled the Laady Braves, often resulting in H.L. Bourgeois being unable to even advance the ball to midcourt.

When the Lady Braves were able to advance and get to the free-throw line, they missed countless foul shots to keep South Terrebonne within reach.

Suddenly, H.L. Bourgeois didn’t just look cold, they looked snake-bitten.

“I could sense their frustrations,” White said. “I told the girls to keep being persistent and keep denying the ball every time and that when we score, don’t act like we’re excited; just get back on defense. Because of that, we were able to get inside their head and wear them down.”

When the Lady Braves finally hit their first basket of the fourth period on a foul shot by Catherine Maiocchi, it snapped a scoreless drought of over five minutes of regulation, which resulted in a 16-0 South Terrebonne run.

The Lady Gators cut the lead to five with 5:11 to play, to three with 4:47 to go, and then tied it at 45-all with just under 2:00 to play on a basket by Cox.

H.L. Bourgeois led only once afterward, at 47-45 with a minute to go. Cox then hit two foul shots with 47.8 to play to tie it at 47-all before South Terrebonne got the ball back and made its final push, ending with Clay’s buzzer-beater.

All told, South Terrebonne outscored H.L. Bourgeois, 22-6, in the fourth quarter, and 30-6 in the final 10-plus minutes of regulation. South Terrebonne also held the Lady Braves to just one field goal the entire fourth quarter.

“I was impressed by South Terrebonne’s defense in the second half,” Lady Braves coach Tony Linn said. “They did a good job of playing tight pressure and then handling the pressure that we brought.”

Cox led South Terrebonne with 14 points, and Clay, Julia LeBlanc, and Blair Pellegrin each had seven. Breon Lyons finished with five points.

Ciara Williams led H.L. Bourgeois with 18 points and Shannon Jones had 13 points.

H.L. Bourgeois led, 9-6, after the first period and 29-16 at halftime.

 

VANDEBILT CATHOLIC GIRLS GAME POSTPONED

Because of inclement weather that may have made travel from Houma to New Orleans dangerous on Thursday, the Vandebilt Catholic at Warren Easton girls basketball game has been postponed.

It is now scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 24 in New Orleans. The Lady Terriers are 17-3 on the season, and Warren Easton is 16-0.