MIDLAND – When Nolan Theriot looks back years from now on his Notre Dame Lady Pios’ 60-46 loss to Rayville Monday, he’ll always remember it as the one that got away.
The Lady Pios, who prided themselves in executing their game plan in their run to the Class AAA No. 4 seed and the state quarterfinals, suffered lapse after lapse in their execution Monday at Midland High.
The result was their ouster from the playoffs and the end to another great season cut short.
“I’m more disappointed now than I was last year when we lost to Richwood (in the second round) because this was a winnable ball game,” said Theriot, whose squad finished the season 26-6.
Theriot found it difficult to speak after the game and not be critical.
“When you spend five months working on defense and come out and give up wide open looks...
“Everybody seemed to know what we wanted to do prior to the game and then we go out there and everyone was confused about what we needed to do,” he said.
Offensively, the Lady Pios hit four 3-pointers in the first half and then made just two more in the final 16 minutes. Alex Miller, the Lady Pios’ leading scorer, had three shots fall from beyond the arch in the first half but she was held scoreless in the third quarter.
“They really locked Alex down in the third quarter,” said Theriot of Miller, who finished the game with 15 points on five 3-pointers. “I think she could have used a little break, but we really couldn’t afford to get her off the court.
“But again, we did a bad job of executing the things we needed to do to get her open.”
The Lady Pios trailed 36-24 early in the third quarter before Sam Lyons went on a tear. The junior forward scored six straight points to get Notre Dame within six (36-30) at the 4:30 mark.
That run, however, was cut short seconds later.
While making a substitution, Notre Dame had six players on the court and that resulted in a technical foul.
The controversial call thwarted the Lady Pios’ momentum and swung it back in favor of Rayville.
The Lady Hornets connected on one of two free throws and on the ensuing inbounds play, Thomasina Minor drilled a 3-pointer from the corner.
“First off, they shouldn’t have put the ball in play because we still had people on the court,” said Theriot of the technical foul. “I’m not going to comment on why we got it, but I’m pretty hot about that.
“That killed the momentum right there. We’re six points back before the technical and then we’re 10 down after. That was kind of a killer.”
Rayville seized the momentum and picked up a steal shortly after the 3-pointer. A layup by Ladencia Johnson pushed the lead back to 12 (42-30).
The Lady Pios got within seven (51-44) late in the fourth quarter, but Adrienna Jackson scored eight of her nine points in the final two minutes to seal the victory.
Rayville connected on six 3-pointers on the night, three on consecutive trips down the court to start the game.
Minor and Victoria Wilson each had two treys in the opening frame and the duo finished with 19 and 12 points, respectively.
Johnson, Jackson and Ladencia Daniels each pitched in nine points in the victory and Arielle Richardson scored two.
Lyons led the Lady Pios with 18 points and Miller had 15. Gabbie Romeo followed with six points, Madelyn LeJeune had five and Elise LeBeouf had two.
“It was great effort out there, don’t get me wrong,” said Theriot. “To see the kids battle back time and time again….
“I’m definitely not disappointed with the effort of this crew. All 12 of these kids are awesome and they worked really hard. I know they are upset, but I think they are going to look back on this ballgame and go ‘man, this is one that we could have gotten’.”
RAYNE – The Abbeville Lady Wildcats survived a late surge by Rayne and outscored the Lady Wolves 8-2 in the final three minutes to slip away with a 45-41 Class 3A quarterfinal victory Monday evening.
The victory sends Abbeville to the semifinals where they will take on No. 2 Baker. That game is slated for 4:30 p.m. on Friday at the Lake Charles Civic Center.
Rayne finished the season with a record of 26-7.
Rayne trailed by eight (36-28) early in the fourth quarter before going an 11-2 run behind baskets from Charlesa Dugas and Whitley Larry and five points from Tristan Mouton. A 3-pointer from Mouton tied the game at 37-37 and Larry hit a basket in the paint with 2:30 left to give the Lady Wolves a two-point advantage.
Abbeville regrouped from there and closed out the game on an 8-2 run.
Mouton paced the Lady Wolves with 12 points and Dugas had nine. Larry followed with six points, Cierra Harmon added five and Tanner Wilson had four. Brentashia Lewis and Ziera Gabriel each had two points and Naosha Leopaul finished with one.
Derrian Nolan and Arrayia Starlard led Abbeville with 14 and 11 points, respectively.