Lady Tigers roll to first-round victory

Kyle Riviere
Donaldsonville Chief
Donaldsonville's Tia Richard

Last season, the Donaldsonville Lady Tigers rolled to a district championship, earned the No. 12 seeding for the playoffs and hosted a first-round game.

But their postseason journey didn't go as they had hoped. They were upset by No. 21 Green Oaks.

Fast forward to a year later, and it was almost the exact same scenario for Donaldsonville. Again, they won the District 9-3A title. And again, they hosted a first-round playoff game as the No. 12 seed in the Class 3A bracket.

But this time, the results were drastically different. This time around, the Lady Tigers rolled to a victory over No. 21 Booker T. Washington - New Orleans, 56-28.

Although, early on, Donaldsonville struggled. The Lady Tigers had trouble scoring points.

They trailed, 8-6, after the first quarter. At halftime, they held a slim 15-12 advantage.

"Going into the game, we wanted to take a different approach because we didn't want the same results as last year,” Lady Tiger head coach Shawancy Joseph. “We talked all week about doing something different to get a better result. We had a slow start during the first half--lots of missed layups and open shots. We were getting the steals but just couldn't convert. We talked about speeding the game up, so we did. In the third quarter, we pressed from the beginning."

Donaldsonville had its best offensive quarter in the third. The Lady Tigers scored 14 and were able to create some separation from Booker T. Washington. They led, 29-20, heading to the final period.

It was there that Donaldsonville put the game away. The Lady Tigers exploded for 27 fourth-quarter points and blew Booker T. Washington out of the gym.

Donaldsonville outscored them, 27-8, in the quarter, allowing them to roll to a 56-28 victory.

In the win, Tia Joseph scored a game-high 16 points. Also scoring in double figures for the Lady Tigers was Ja'nae Southall. She netted 12.

Shauncey Joseph scored nine, Alia Bell scored seven and Tia Richard scored five. Finally, Jayla Walker contributed four, and Taekeshia Dabney chipped in with two.

With the victory, Donaldsonville improved to 13-8 for the season.

The Lady Tigers advanced to the second round of the playoffs, where they drew a road matchup against fifth-seeded Kaplan. Kaplan rolled past No. 28 Richwood in the opening round.

They finished the regular season with a 19-5 record, which included a 10-game winning streak down the stretch.

"We're proud of our girls, the way practice transferred over to the game. We executed on both ends of the floor, especially in the second half,” Coach Joseph said. “We're excited about the second round, but we know it won't be easy. It'll take a team effort to get the job done."