Parish basketball players to watch in 2021-22
The basketball season is now under way, and both boys and girl’s teams throughout the parish are looking to make splashes with the coming of the new year.
Last season, four parish teams won playoff games, and one squad reached the state quarterfinals. Ascension teams are looking to do even better in 2021-22.
Here is a look at some of the parish basketball players to watch heading into the season:
Deniya Thornton (St. Amant)
The most-decorated returning basketball player in the parish is St. Amant junior guard Deniya Thornton. Last season, Thornton was named both the District 5-5A MVP and the Ascension Parish MVP. She helped lead the Lady Gators to their first district championship since 2014, and their first playoff victory in eight years.
Lawrence Forcell (Donaldsonville)
The Donaldsonville Tigers will be in good hands with Lawrence Forcell returning to play point guard. Forcell had a breakout season in 2020-21, as he was named the District 9-3A MVP. He was also named first-team All-Parish. Forcell helped lead Donaldsonville to the playoffs, but the Tigers were bounced in the opening round.
Kaitlyn Brooks (Ascension Catholic)
Ascension Catholic finished with a losing record last season and missed the playoffs, but it certainly wasn’t because of Kaitlyn Brooks. The sophomore had a tremendous season, averaging 14 points, five assists and three steals per game. Brooks was named first-team All-District 7-1A and first-team All-Parish.
Keith Thomas (East Ascension)
East Ascension had to replace its entire starting lineup last season. The Spartans were looking for many first-year starters to step up and have big seasons. Guard Keith Thomas did just that. The junior was named both first-team All-District 5-5A and All-Parish as he helped lead East Ascension to a first-round playoff victory for the fifth straight year.
Tia Richard (Donaldsonville)
The most successful basketball team in Ascension Parish last season was the Donaldsonville girls, and a big reason for that was junior point guard Tia Richard. Richard was named the District 9-3A MVP, and she was a first-team All-Parish selection. She now returns as a top senior leader for the Lady Tigers.
Letavian Crockett (St. Amant)
Letavian Crockett had a breakout sophomore season for St. Amant in 2020-21. The guard was named both first-team All-District 5-5A and first-team All-Parish as a first-year starter. Crockett helped lead St. Amant to its first playoff win in three years. The Gators also played their first home playoff game in the Gold Dome since 2009.
Saylor Donaldson (Dutchtown)
Dutchtown had its share of struggles last season. The Lady Griffins finished with a 6-18 record and missed the playoffs. But junior forward Saylor Donaldson flourished. For her strong play, she was named first-team All-District 5-5A and second-team All-Parish.
Demarco Harry (Ascension Catholic)
Ascension Catholic will return its senior point guard in 2021-22. Demarco Harry has been one of the program’s best players over the years. Last season, Harry was named both first-team All-District 7-1A and first-team All-Parish. He helped lead the Bulldogs to the playoffs, but they were bounced in the first round.
Tia Joseph (Donaldsonville)
As a sophomore, Tia Joseph had a big season for Donaldsonville in 2020-21. She was a first-team all-district and All-Parish selection. Joseph helped the Lady Tigers capture their second straight District 9-3A championship. The team also reached the state quarterfinals for the second time in the past three years.
Stephen Aguillard (Dutchtown)
Dutchtown missed out on the playoffs last season, but the Griffins saw strong play from guard Stephen Aguillard. Aguillard finished the year as a first-team All-District 5-5A selection. He was also named to the All-Parish second team.