D’ville duo leads Southern basketball

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR
Junior guard player Kendra Coleman spots up for a jump shot during the win against Prairie View A&M University last week.

There’s nothing like playing basketball with the hometown folks you grew up with, especially if you get the opportunity to play on the same collegiate team- talking about trouble for the opponent. Donaldsonville natives Laneisha Stephens and Kendra Coleman play basketball at the Southern University in Baton Rouge and represent their hometown very well.Coleman leads the team in points per game with 10.9 and Stephens leads the team in blocked shots with almost one rejection per game.

Stephens, a senior who plays the post position said blocking shots has always been her “thing” since her days at Donaldsonville High School when she played under then-head coach Bush Little.Since leaving DHS, Stephens has become a champion playing in the Jaguar uniform, something both she and Coleman worked to do as teammates at DHS, but never could. With her collegiate career winding down, she’s just looking for another championship to give her hometown baller Coleman an opportunity to get the feeling.

“We’ve (she and Coleman) been working together to get things done and get her a championship, because she hasn’t gotten one,” Stephens said after the Jaguars beat Prairie View A&M University last week. “We both fought to get one in high school but was never able to get one, so I’m just trying to do it for her.”

She said the chemistry with Coleman was a little struggle in the beginning at the collegiate level, but once they got it back they’ve been dominant. She said it’s been good.

As for Coleman, a junior guard fighting to lead the team to her first championship, she just wants to win. In the game against Prairie View, Coleman lit up the shot charts with 20 points on 6-9 shooting from the field, 2-4 for three-pointers and 6-6 from the free throw line. She said she’s just trying to keep he mind in the right place.

“I had a different mindset going into this game than the last game,” Coleman said about her performance in the teams 60-55 win. “My coach (Sandy Pugh) told me to get after it, so I got after it and did what she said. That’s how it goes.”

Coleman started the game shooting perfect from the field up to her first 14 points before she finally drew iron. She admitted that even she didn’t expect the night to start like that.

She credited her game success to a new ritual she’s starting, reading.She said reading helps keep her mind calm so she won’t be “shaky and tensed up.” Against Prairie View, it worked and she said she will continue to do it.

As for her title run, she said she’s looking to Stephens to get her there.

“I been playing with her all my life, we just trying to get it done,” Coleman said about Stephens. “She’s going to help me get there I know that because she already has one. I’m trying to get one.”

Stephens said she visited DHS recently and talked to the girl’s basketball head coach Amy Blanchard, but Coleman said it’s been a while since she’s been to the alma mater.

“I’m going to make my way back down there,” Coleman said. “I’m taking care of business right now.”

Stephens added, “Glad to get this win and are we trying to continue our championship run.”