Gators go out in style, win second consecutive Class 4A state chapionship
HAMMOND — LaGrange senior standouts Jeriah Warren, Deja Tanks and Aasia Sam ended their high school careers in style, winning a second consecutive Class 4A state championship Friday with a 49-42 win over Huntington.
Warren scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to earn MVP honors. Sam added 13 points while Tanks had five points and eight rebounds.
LaGrange (27-1) led wire-to-wire, taking an early lead behind the play of Warren and Sam, who scored eight points each in the first quarter.
Huntington (26-3) scored 29 points over the final three quarters and shot 27 percent from the floor, including misses on all 19 3-point attempts.
Sam drilled two 3-pointers in the first quarter as part of a 16-7 Gators run to open the game.
Warren’s combination of height and skill was too much for Huntington to handle.
“Chasity (Taylor) played good defense on her, (Warren) just made tough shots,” Raiders head coach Brian Shane said.
LaGrange head coach La’Keem Holmes said his trio of senior starters will leave a legacy of winning and leadership.
“I’ve been blessed to coach them,” he said. “They don’t have bad days. They set a great example for the younger kids on and off the floor. I never got a bad report about them. They are all good students. They become the biggest cheerleaders on the bench when I take them out of games.”
Warren had two steals and three blocks. Sam helped harass Huntington star Taylor Bell, who shot 6 of 15 from the floor.
Holmes said Sam has relished tough assignments all season.
“That’s been all year,” he said.” Last year we had lockdown defenders. This year she accepted those challenges. That is what leaders do.”
Holmes said the Gators have established themselves as one of the state’s top programs.
“We’ve been a top-four seed for four years, we’ve won more than 100 games and did not lose a game in Lake Charles the past two years,” he said.
Bell finished with 17 points and 15 rebounds to lead Huntington.
David Grunfeld / Special to the American Press