Girl's basketball players make all-district teams

Kyle Riviere
Donaldsonville's Daija Harvey was a first-team All-District 10-3A selection. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

It was quite the sweet ending to the 2017-18 girl’s basketball season as one of Ascension’s own hoisted a state championship trophy in Alexandria’s Rapides Coliseum.

East Ascension celebrated their first-ever state crown, but the season wasn’t just a success for the Lady Spartans.

All six parish teams reached the playoffs on the strength of tremendous performances from their best players. Those standouts were recently celebrated with the release of the all-district teams.

East Ascension had three players make the All-District 5-5A first team.

What a magical season it was for the Lady Spartans.

They were faced with many obstacles throughout the year. Bad weather combined with just plain bad luck led to many of their games getting cancelled.

Also, they were forced to play most of the season without last year’s district MVP Alynzia Morris. Morris broke her wrist at the beginning of the year, and then broke her finger before the playoffs even began.

Despite the challenges, East Ascension went 19-2 during the regular season and shared the district championship with McKinley.

They made the playoffs as the No. 8 seed and pulled off upsets over both top-seeded Barbe and fifth-seeded Zachary to reach the championship game.

There, they defeated Natchitoches Central, 37-32, to bring home East Ascension basketball’s first-ever state title.

It was such a satisfying end, after the Lady Spartans exited the playoffs early last season, getting upset in the second round.

“It was a different team, a different mindset,” head coach Dennis Chandler said. “When that game was over, I went back and looked at some things that we did, and the team changed. Most of the kids that are on my team, they can handle the ball, they can pass—the whole nine yards.”

Diniaa McZeal was one of those players that did it all for East Ascension this season. The junior guard was named the District 5-5A MVP.

Joining her on the first team was senior Kendall Alvarez and fellow junior Tristen Washington. Washington was named the championship game’s Most Outstanding Player after scoring a team-high 14 points.

Chandler was named the district’s Co-Coach of the Year.

The Dutchtown Lady Griffins had a solid season. They finished with an 18-13 regular-season record and entered the playoffs as the No. 24 seed, before losing to ninth-seeded Sulphur in the opening round.

Three Dutchtown players made the All-District 5-5A first team.

These selections were highlighted by junior forward Chelsea Cain as she made the squad for a second straight season.

Two talented sophomores joined her on the first team in guard Zaria Harleaux and forward May Babin.

The 2017-18 season was a step in the right direction for St. Amant as they went 16-14 and reached the playoffs for the first time in four years.

For the second straight season, forward Megan Melancon was a first-team all-district selection.

Ascension Christian had their best season in school history as they finished with a 14-8 record and claimed a share of the District 6-1A title.

The Lady Lions then made a run to the state quarterfinals for the second straight season, before losing to eventual state champion Lafayette Christian.

Leading the charge for the Lady Lions was the duo of Jamilyn Robinson and Alona Washington. Both players were first-team all-district selections. Washington was named the district’s MVP.

Robinson ends her career at Ascension Christian as the school’s all-time leading scorer. She scored more than 2,000 points.

The Donaldsonville Lady Tigers reached the playoffs once again as they won 14 games.

For the second straight season, Daija Harvey was a first-team all-district selection.

Joining her on the All-District 10-3A squad were Jalair Johnson, L’Nysia Johnson, Shauncey Joseph and Quinntralyn Bell as honorable mention picks.