Biddy team ends on good note

Staff reports
pictured is bottom row: Janira Collier, Ambrosia Johnson, Jalyncea Ben, Kiyah Delaney, Jare Birdis, and Megan Brooks and standing is Head Coach Jason Worley, Sharan Turner, Shaquendes Joshua, Breanna Barnes, Maya Vaughn, Nekyla WIlliams, Jasmine Worley, and Assistant Coach Anita Johnson.

The weekend started on Friday after the bad weather came through on Thursday night.  The weather had no affect on a great weekend.  We started the events off with a trip to Incredible Pizza in Lafayette.  This was the welcoming party where all of the teams were to meet for credential check, food, and fun and games for the athletes, coaches, and their parents.  The kids had a fantastic time.  From there the teams traveled on to Abbeville, to check in to our hotels and then we’re off to coaches meetings to get our schedules for the weekend.

Opening ceremonies took place immediately following the coaches meetings.  They packed a total of 32 teams, coaches, parents, and other supporters in the gym.  It was a big pep rally supporting your favorite team and all of the teams in the tournament.  After all, it was a great accomplishment by all teams to be there. 

There are three individual competitions at the International tournament every year.  These events are Free-Throw Shooting, Hot-Shot, and Around the World.  Around the World is a three-point shooting contest and Hot-Shot is a contest where the athletes have to shoot from different areas on the court to score points in a certain time.  Meagan Brooks participated in the Free-Throw contest.

Nekyla Williams handled the Around the World event, and Jalyncea Ben participated in the Hot-Shot competition.  Our girls faced some tough competition in their events, but fared well. The day was long because the teams did not leave the gym until after 11 p.m. and had to be back the next morning to start pool play.

Donaldsonville came out second in their pool.  They lost a close game to Slidell 25-23 to start off the pool play games, but it didn’t affect them because it was a cross-pool game. The girls then beat Lockport to start back on our winning ways. After the first day they were 1-1. They had already won more games than they had won the previous year.

“We lost a tough game to Wichita, Kansas mainly due to our poor free throw shooting,” said Worley.

 Wichita had a great team, but we lost the game at the free throw line. “We couldn’t buy a free-throw that game”, said Coach Worley.  “No matter how good you play, you have to hit your free-throws to win.  It hurts you in the end.  At this point pool play was over for us and we had to wait until the next coaches meeting to see how the bracket would turn out.”

The team opened up bracket play against Larose and coasted to an easy victory. Some key players went down with some nicks and bruises, but we held on for the win.  The next game would be against Terrebonne. 

“This game was scheduled for 7:40 p.m. on Sunday night and did not get played until about 10:20 p.m.  This was due to some logistics issues beyond our control. Now keep in mind we started our day off at 8 a.m..  Our girls were not used to playing this late in the day.  They are used to sleeping or just being at home doing whatever they want to do. They were tired and a little frustration had set in on everyone.  We lost a tough 1 to Terrebonne and had to fight our way out of the loser’s bracket,” said Worley.

On Monday, Donaldsonville bounced back with a six-point win over “bayou rival”, Thibodaux.

Next in line was the home team, Vermillion.  At this point, Donaldsonville had to keep winning to keep playing.  “Win or go home.” The girls had already lost their first game in the double elimination bracket.  They played Vermillion and had the game won. 

“We played tough on offense and defense the whole game.  However, as time was winding down, it seems like everything went against us and the home team had the advantage,” said Worley.  “We lost a 10 point lead and a few chances at the end of regulation to send Vermillion home.  We ended regulation in a tie and had to go into overtime.  Our girls were tired and frustrated with the turn of events during the game and we didn’t have the gas needed for overtime.  We lost a tough 1 in overtime.” 

The girls finished the tournament with three wins, and four losses.  Our overall record for this all-star season was 19 wins, and eight losses. That amounts to a winning percentage of 70%.  We had a great season with many memories to look back on.  We watched the girls improve in all areas of the game from the beginning to the end.  The girl’s learned a lot, traveled many places, met many people, prevailed through adversity, grew as a family, and had fun.  This season the team won first place in two invitational tournaments, won the District Championship, and finished third in Regionals. 

“We have come a long way, and it’s our time,” said Worley.

Individual awards are given out to the All-American player or players on the teams.  “These awards are voted on after each game by the opposing coaches. Ambrosia Johnson missed getting an All-American award for our team by one vote.  Shaquendes Joshua was voted All-American for Donaldsonville,” said Worley. “After this tournament, everyone knew who Shaq was.  We’re just thankful she was on our team and we didn’t have to play against her.”

Coach Worley said these girls leave it all on the court day in and day out.  I would hate to have to come up with a game plan to stop them.

 “I would like to congratulate the whole team for a great season and I’m thankful that I was able to be their coach.  I’m sorry the season had to end so soon, but I look forward to the years to come for all of these girls.  They will go somewhere in life and be positive.  We have to keep encouraging them and leading them,” said Worley.

The entire Biddy team would like to thank the local businesses and individuals that gave donations and participated in the fundraisers to make this trip possible.  Thanks again from the 10-year old Donaldsonville girls All-Stars, their coaches, and parents.