In this edition of the Three Point Shot, staff writers Rodrick Anderson and Warren Arceneaux review the season of small schools girls basketball.
Which area team had a breakthrough season?
WA: Merryville. The Panthers reached the second round last season, their first without multi-time all-state guard Andrea Cournoyer, but bounced back this season, reaching the Class 1A semifinals before losing to eventual champion North Central. The team was powered by junior Maddie Mahfouz, who averaged more than 19 points a game.
RA: Lacassine. The Cardinals made their long-awaited return to the state tournament this season after losing in the regional round two of the previous three seasons. With a young team, led by juniors Krissy Broxton and Vanessa Duhe and freshman Sydnie Cooley, the Cardinals reached the semifinals for the first time since a four-year run at the state tournament that culminated in a championship in 2015.
What was the best rivalry of the season?
WA: Hathaway vs. Lacassine. Both made it back to the state tournament, where the Hornets beat the Cardinals for the second time in three tries after the teams split a pair of District 7-B games.
RA: Elton vs. Merryville. The District 4-1A rivals played a pair hotly contested games with each winning on its home court. Merryville won 48-40 behind nine points, nine rebounds and nine assists by Maddie Mafouz, and Elton won 53-50 led by double-doubles by Vici Woods and Summer Ceasar.
What was the best individual performance by a small school player?
WA: In the Hathaway-Lacassine semifinal game, Hathaway's Kennedei Beard made five 3-pointers in as many attempts as part of an 18-point performance in Hathaway's 65-55 win.
RA: Fairview point junior guard Rylee Jinks, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class B MVP, showed off her versatility in the Panthers' 66-41 win over Florien in the semifinals. She was a few plays away from a rare quadruple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and seven steals.