Breaking away: Lady Terriers' big run sinks Assumption

Vandebilt Catholic's Laci LeBlanc (right) attempts to shoot over Assumption's Johnishia Harris (42) on Thursday in Houma. (Photo by Chris Heller/Staff)

The good news for Assumption's girls basketball team was that it jumped out to a first-quarter lead during Thursday's District 8-4A game against Vandebilt Catholic.

The bad news for the Lady Mustangs was that the early lead didn't last long.

The Lady Terriers shook off a slow start and used a big second-quarter run to roll away with a 63-30 victory over Assumption.

Assumption opened up with a quick 5-0 lead in the first quarter, and Vandebilt didn't hit a shot from the field until 5:08 remaining in the opening period.

The Lady Terriers bounced back to take their first lead of the game at 8-7 when Laci LeBlanc scored on a fast-break layup with 3:33 left in the first.

Vandebilt (23-4 overall, 6-0 in district) never trailed again in the game, taking leads of 17-7 after the first quarter, 38-17 at halftime and 51-24 at the end of the third quarter.

Vandebilt coach Kathy Luke said the Lady Terriers took control when they settled down, forced turnovers and got quick fast-break points.

"I thought we did a good job of getting the ball in transition," Luke said. "I think when we got our fastbreak down and scored a couple of easy buckets, it got our motors going offensively and defensively. It got us moving a little bit quicker."

Leading scorers for Vandebilt were Cassidy Barrios with 17 points and nine steals, Jewel Triggs with 16 points, Shakira Harding with 11 points and LeBlanc with eight points.

The Lady Terriers played the game without their senior starting forward Jasmine Howard, who is recovering from a shoulder injury suffered during Tuesday's game at Central Catholic. Luke said Howard's condition is improving quickly, and she is expected to return to play next week.

Luke said the Lady Terriers adapted well to playing without one of their key players in Howard.

"We've played this year without Jas and Shakira (Harding) earlier as well," Luke said. "That is something that really doesn't affect us too much. It's kind of like the next girl up. I think Jewel did a good job taking Jas' place at the post. (Sophomores Triggs and Barrios) are the future of this program. I'm trying to get them to show some leadership and aggressiveness and play hard and develop confidence. We're going to need them to play well down the line in the playoffs."

Triggs said she was ready for Thursday's game.

"Since Jas wasn't playing, we knew we had to step it up," Triggs said. "The last time we played Assumption, we won by a lot, but you can't take them for granted. I just wanted to step it up for my team and play hard and get the win."

Kevreion Ward led Assumption (13-11, 3-4 in 8-4A) with 10 points, and Amanda Gianelloni added seven points.

Assumption coach Julius Aucoin said the Lady Mustangs, who are fighting to stay alive for a Class 4A playoff berth, couldn't protect the early lead in the first quarter.

"We played well to start the game and showed some intensity," Aucoin said. "The turning point in the first quarter was that we stopped getting back on defense like we were supposed to, and they took advantage of that. Offensively, we played against a tough defense. We just couldn't get the shots that we wanted. We just didn't play with as much pride as we had at the beginning of the game."



At Houma, the Terriers hit 11 3-pointers to get past district rival Assumption.

Vandebilt (19-6, 6-0 in district) led 20-7 after the first quarter, 39-24 at halftime and 59-42 at the end of the third quarter. Lionheart Leslie led the Terriers with 21 points, while Payton Barrios scored 20 points and Malcolm Wolfe had eight points.

Kenyatta Charles led the Mustangs (4-20, 1-6 in 8-4A) with 20 points, and Denzell Johnson added 11 points and Malik Mills scored 10.



At Bourg, Patrick Wilson scored 17 points to lead the Gators to a District 8-4A win over Morgan City.

The game was tied at 14 at the end of the first quarter. Morgan City led 24-20 at halftime, but South Terrebonne held a 36-34 advantage at the end of the third quarter.

Tyrone Smith added nine points for the Gators (7-15, 3-4 in 8-4A).



At Bourg, the Lady Gators improved to 4-13 overall and 1-6 in District 8-4A behind 17 points each from Blare Pellegrin and Monet Cox and eight points from Desiree Price.



At New Orleans, the Lions improved to 15-4 overall and led 19-14 after the first quarter, 38-31 at halftime and 52-50 at the end of the third quarter.

CCA got 23 points, six steals and five assists from Jordan McKay, 19 points from Datren Williams and 12 points and 10 rebounds from Rommel Edwards.

— Compiled by sports writer Kelly McElroy.