CROWLEY – Any hopes Bogalusa’s Lady Lumberjacks may have had of posting an upset in their first-round playoff game against No. 4 Notre Dame Monday were laid to rest early.
The Lady Pios went on a 23-2 run in the final six minutes of the first half and continued to pour it on in the second half in defeating the 29th-seeded Lady Lumberjacks, 79-32.
The victory earned the Lady Pios a second-round home contest against No. 13 Avoyelles. Avoyelles defeated No. 20 Bossier, 60-54, on Monday. That game will be played Thursday at 6 p.m. at Crowley High.
“We came out and executed the game plan tonight,” said Notre Dame coach Nolan Theriot, whose squad held UL-Lafayette signee Gabrielle Alexander to just 15 points on the night. “We made No. 12 (Alexander) give the ball up. The game plan worked out really well and we knocked down shots.”
The Lady Pios got off to a quick start behind six points each from Gabbie Romero and Madelyn LeJeune in the opening frame.
Romero, who led the Lady Pios with 19 points, canned one of her four 3-pointers towards the end of the quarter to put Notre Dame up 19-8.
Alexander, on the other hand, had just two points in the first quarter and was hesitant to drive the lane after picking up her third foul on a charge just four minutes into the contest.
The senior standout drew her fourth foul two minutes into the second quarter and was sidelined for the rest of the half.
That’s when the flood gates opened for the Lady Pios.
Alex Miller hit her stride from beyond the arch and drilled home back-to-back 3-pointers while Romero hit another long ball and connected on four free throws to help Notre Dame extend its cushion to 47-12.
As impressive as they were offensively, the Lady Pios were equally impressive defensively.
“Defensively, we kind of started to impose our will a little bit more in the second quarter,” said Theriot, whose squad forced Bogalusa into countless turnovers with its full-court pressure and limited the Lady Jacks to just four points in the second quarter. “We made a couple of little adjustments and we had some big blockouts. You could tell that they started to get a little apprehensive.”
Miller, who finished with 14 points, got it done on the defensive side as well. She picked off five passes near midcourt in the second period that led to baskets in transition.
“They were playing right into us,” said Theriot. “They would catch the ball, dribble-dribble pitch and then it’s a long ball up court and we were able to get our hands on it. Alex is playing free safety back there and she picked up some big steals.”
The third quarter wasn’t much better for the Lady Jacks, even with Alexander on the court.
Sam Lyons poured in eight of her 13 points in the third quarter and LeJeune had six as the Lady Pios outscored the Lady Jacks 23-12.
Alexander then scored six of Bogalusa’s eight points in the final frame.
“In the second half, we couldn’t stop her,” said Theriot of Alexander. “If we weren’t in full court against her, she took it coast-to-coast and that’s what we were worried about.”
The Lady Pios scaled back the offense in the fourth quarter but still managed to outscored Bogalusa 9-8.
“We took the foot off the gas a little bit in the fourth quarter,” said Theriot. “We were trying not to be stupid. We didn’t need any collisions or anything so there was some hesitation.
“Overall, I thought the kids did an excellent job. Every kid that got in there understood what we were trying to do and they did a good job. I’m pleased, we got out of there with no injuries.”
The Lady Pios had all but one player on the roster contribute offensively.
LeJeune had 18 points on the night and Hannah Esthay had five. Elise LeBeouf followed with three, Liddy Rothermel, Elizabeth Dartez and Annie Sarver each had two and Tori Onebane had one.
Alexander led the Lady Jacks with 15 points.