The Lady Warriors, who improved to 13-6 (7-1 in district 5-2A), came out of the gate firing on all cylinders and jumped to a 9-0 lead in the first quarter before Iota, now 22-6 (7-1), finally sunk a bucket four minutes into the first frame.
"We shot very bad tonight and we can't beat a good team like that shooting like that," said Stan Baggett, Lady Dogs head coach.
Despite the early setbacks for Iota, the Lady Dogs battled back pulling within 3 points early on before Oakdale once again opened the game up. Oakdale finished the first quarter ahead 19-11.
With both teams limiting second chance opportunities and forcing steals and blocking shots, all while Iota’s missed shots and opportunities continued, the game opened up more in the second quarter.’
In fact, the first half set the pace for the game. Iota struggled to catch-up. They drew within a score on two occasions in the first half, through blocks and steals, but Oakdale matched the Lady Dogs effort and Iota found itself facing a 12 point deficit with a 36-24 score at the game's intermission.
“We couldn't toss into the ocean tonight,” said Baggett. "We had a very bad shooting night."
The Lady Dogs also didn’t do themselves any favors by giving Oakdale multiple free throw opportunities. The team finished with six fouls in the first half, all of which were committed in the second quarter, and 16 fouls total for the night. The Lady Warriors made the most of their extra point opportunities by going 13 for 21. Meanwhile, when the Lady Dogs were given the opportunity for free throws, they only knocked down four of their 11 attempts. Oakdale limited Iota’s chances and committed only three in the first half and 10 total on the night.
“We just couldn't shoot and couldn't defend the big girl on the inside, she killed us and we had no answer for her,” said Baggett. "She really hurt us."
The only move Baggett’s squad had in the third quarter was to go to full court pressure and become more aggressive, regardless of foul trouble. The pressure helped some as did Oakdale missing a few key shots, but the double-digit lead the Lady Warriors spent the first half building up proved too much to climb in just a single quarter. Thus, despite winning the quarter, the Lady Dogs faced a nine point hole and a 48-39 score going into the final quarter.
It was then that the game finally was put away by Oakdale. While both teams’ fast-paced, aggressive play was slowed some, it was Iota’s mental mistakes and miscues that helped the Lady Warriors’ lead grow back into double digits. Both teams missed multiple shots in the quarter, and both did not make many offensive rebounds, but Iota’s errant passes and continued lack of success shooting dismissed any chance of the home team’s comeback.
“They came out more ready to play than we were, that's the bottom line,” said Baggett. "We did not do a good job tonight. I'm disappointed in our effort. They out-hustled us."
Oakdale was led by Danisha Allen who scored 33 points Tuesday night. Joining her in the double digit scoring circle was Neka Jones with 12 and Terrika Gradney with 11. Shanice Holmes’ two points rounded out the Lady Warriors scorers.
Iota’s Allison Baggett and Candace Sensat shared top scoring honors on the night with 14 points a piece for the Lady Dogs. Other Lady Dogs with points were Madison Meche with eight, Caroline Hebert and Anna Leger with three each and Adalie Wriberg with two.
Iota will now enter its final four games tied in district play with Oakdale, who lost the two teams’ first meeting in overtime earlier in the season. Next on the Lady Dogs slate will be a game at Kinder. They round out their schedule home versus Lake Arthur on Feb. 1, at Pine Prairie on Feb. 8 and home versus Mamou on Feb. 10. The Lady Warriors, meanwhile, will also round out their season with four straight district foes, Pine Prairie, Mamou, Welsh and Kinder.
The Iota boys’ team was also in action Tuesday night. Oakdale pulled off the night sweep by defeating the home team 71-57.
The Bulldogs fell to 2-19 (0-7 in district 5-2A) while Oakdale moved to 13-7 (5-2).
Early on, the Bulldogs seemed prime for the upset, leading after the first quarter 19-14 and only down two points at half time with Oakdale up 32-30. But while the first half belonged to the Bulldogs, the second half was all Oakdale. The Warriors blew the game’s door wide open and exited the third quarter up and 51-40 and finished the game with a 14 point lead.
The Warriors’ were led by Deondre Hampton with 15 points, Deandre Sampson with 14 and Bryan Guidry 11. Iota also had four players in double digits, Thomas Murrell led the way with 19 points, Andrew Bellon with 11 and Chance Benoit and Colby Istre with 10.