West, Lady Tigers hold off Port Allen; win 45-38

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @dvillechief
DHS junior De'Miaya Gipson blows past a Port Allen defender in the win Friday night.

The DHS Lady Tigers basketball team (3-5 district) isn’t resting on its laurels. It’s still leaning toward grabbing a playoff spot. The team beat Port Allen 45-38 Friday at home led by senior Patrice West with strong play on both ends of the floor. West led the team with 18 points for the night and made some big defensive plays in the second half by taking charges that led to Port Allen turnovers.

“Patrice is tough as nails,” DHS head coach Amy Blanchard said. “She knows the game and she knows how to get in position to take the charge and she’s not scared to. And she’s also not afraid to run smooth over somebody either.”

The Lady Tigers led 24-17 at halftime, but came out in the second half sloppy and turning the ball over. Port Allen capitalized and quickly cut the lead down and commanded it for a brief period in the third quarter.

“We talked at halftime to slow things down and just pass, move and cut,” Blanchard said. “Sometimes I think it just goes straight over their heads even though we practice and talk about it.”

The emotions were high in the game and the fans fed into it. Port Allen was whistled for a technical foul for unsportsmanlike-like play for kicking the ball. There also was some blood involved. DHS freshman Kaylynn Foster collided with a Port Allen player, who’s tooth hit Foster’s head. The Port Allen player ended needing stitches.

“The emotions on both team escalated,” Blanchard said, “but I’m just glad we got out of there with a win and only one tooth in the head and Patrice’s knee.”

West went down in the fourth quarter grabbing her knee after a missed lay-up. She’d been having knee problems since the last time these two teams matched up. Despite the injury, West led the to victory.

“She’s really stepped up to being a leader and she knows time is ticking on her career,” Blanchard said. “She’s been talking more and really trying to carry the team.”

West’s leadership hit Ambrosia Johnson the right way. Johnson came out with eight points in the first quarter and ended the game 12 total.

The last time DHS and Port Allen went head-to-head, the game went down to the wire and Port Allen snuck away with the victory after a last second Lady Tiger turnover. This game, Blanchard and DHS didn’t worry about the comeback.

“No, because of their foul trouble,” Blanchard said.

The Lady Tigers play their season finale and senior night on Friday, Nov. 8 against rivals St. James Wildcats.