spkm_1203_LaGrange_v_Elton-3

LaGrange’s Jeriah Warren drives to the lane against Elton at LaGrange High School in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Kirk Meche)

LaGrange used a pair of first-half runs to take control and cruise to a 61-30 nondistrict win over the Elton Indians Tuesday night.

The Gators (4-0) went on a 11-0 run midway through the first quarter to build a 16-5 lead. Elton (3-4) got back to within 16-9 at the end of the quarter, but LaGrange opened the second quarter with a 12-0 spurt to stretch the lead to 19 and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

Aasia Sam scored the final five points of the second quarter run and finished the game with a team-high 18 points. She scored the 1,000th point of her career on a 3-point play in the first quarter.

Gators head coach La'Keem Holmes said the game-changing runs were a product of his team's determination.

"Those runs happen because of the energy we were playing with," he said. "We still have a lot of things to clean up, but when you play that hard, things tend to fall your way sometimes. We were up 15 points and still diving on the ground. We were able to sustain the same intensity when we had starters out.

"The energy that Alona Stevens, Jakayla Winfred and Makayla Johnson brought was great. I challenged them to create 10 turnovers as a group and they had more than that. They were unselfish and took charges. We knew they had two good post players (Vici Woods and Summer Ceaser). I challenged our girls to not be intimidated. We knew they were going to get their buckets, but we had to try to make it hard for them."

Nadailyn Carrier scored 13 for LaGrange and Jeriah Warren added 12 to lead a balanced scoring attack, a team strength, Holmes said.

"They have always been unselfish," he said. "If one scores the others will cheer, that is just who they are. Sometimes they pass the ball too much. They have played together for a long time. They want to make that run, get to Burton (Coliseum, home of the state championship tournament) for the first time."

Ceaser led Elton with 12 points. Tessa Deshotel scored 10. Vici Woods had six points, six rebounds, seven blocks and three steals.

More from this section

A quick defensive change at halftime kept St. Louis undefeated and allowed the Saints to hand Sulphur its first loss Tuesday evening, 50-38.

LaGrange used a pair of first-half runs to take control and cruise to a 61-30 nondistrict win over the Elton Indians Tuesday night.