Saints, Lady K’s face off
District opener 6:15 p.m. tonight
St. Louis Catholic and South Beauregard have played some intense games over the years.
South Beauregard won three consecutive games in the series by four points or less, until St. Louis ruined the Lady K’s perfect district record last season with a 52-36 upset of the then No. 1 team in Class 3A.
But today’s game will be the first in 25 years between the two schools that St. Louis head coach Tony Johnson will not face off against former South Beauregard head coach Chris Greene, who retired after last season.
“We really enjoyed playing against each other,” Johnson said. “We battled for 25 years. He is a hell of a competitor. Every time we played them, it is like a war, but it is a good war.”
But Johnson doesn’t see any drop off from last year’s team that reached the Class 3A semifinals now that Susan Johnson, who was an assistant under Greene, is in charge.
“They still have a good record and a good little team,” Johnson said. “Coach Johnson does a good job of getting those girls up to play and I know she is going to have them up to play us.
“The system is in place there. I watched them the other day and it looked like they are clicking on all cylinders. They are not missing anything. Those kids in Longville play really hard and we are going to have to match their intensity.”
St. Louis will host South Beauregard at 6:15 p.m. It will be the District 4-3A opener for both teams.
St. Louis is off to a 12-5 start thanks to a defense that has held opponents to under 44 points nine times. That has also helped on the offensive side where Saints are averaging 62 points a game and scored at least 76 in their last three.
“As a whole, our basketball team is playing real well on the defensive side of the ball,” Johnson said. “That leads to a lot of easy buckets because we are shooting from the field about 56 percent. That is a big plus when you are able to do that.”
After missing last year due to an injury, St. Louis guard Alexandria Goodly, a UL-Lafayette signee, is playing better than before the injury according to Johnson. She is averaging nearly 20 points and seven assists a game.
“She is getting back into herself,” Johnson said. “The first couple of games she was a little hesitant, but now she is back to where she was probably her sophomore year and probably even better because she is scoring and making other people around her better. We are real happy about that.”
But the Saints are more than just one go-to player. Senior Aaliyah Williams, junior Anaiya Turner and sophomore Torey Washington have all had big scoring nights this season, plus freshman Myca Trail has come on strong lately.
“They are sharing the ball real good and playing well as a team,” Johnson said. “A team just can’t concentrate on stopping Alexandria Goodly because we have potential scorers all over the floor. It was a big shock, but the kid (Trail) had a good summer. She is able to adapt. She has a real lanky body and real fast.”
South Beauregard (10-5) is led by senior Ashly Smith.
“She is a real good ball player,” Johnson said. “She stands out and we are going to have to be conscious of where she is at on the floor and all that good stuff.
“She defends pretty good and we are going to have to contain her.”
DeRidder’s No. 23 puts up the layup past St. Louis’ Anaiya Turner during their game at St. Louis Catholic High School in Lake Charles, La., Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)