Donaldsonville holds off Plaquemine's late rally attempt
Though Donaldsonville was able to control much of the way, Plaquemine stormed back to make for a tense ending Friday night.
Ultimately, the visiting Tigers separated themselves from the Green Devils in the closing two minutes by hitting enough free throws to claim a 48-41 victory.
“We were able to close out a game,” Donaldsonville head coach Shawancy Joseph said. “We’ve been in some tough games and losing by a couple of points because we couldn’t close it out. I was proud that we were able to do so with the squad we had out there.”
The Green Devils remained fierce throughout, shrinking the Donaldsonville lead to just three points in the closing minutes. Tayliyah Seals hit a 3-pointer, and Chantoryia Rivers completed a three-point play with 3:25 remaining in the game to close the Tigers’ lead to 40-37.
Holding on to a 42-38 lead with two minutes left, the Tigers were able to hold off the rally by sinking six free throws.
“We’ve been working on free throws all season,” Joseph said. “I always tell the girls if we can make free throws, it’ll take us out of those tight games we’re putting ourselves in. With the fouls, we did a lot of reaching, and not moving our feet. That’s another thing that’s hurting us: taking silly fouls that we don’t need to take because we don’t want to play solid defense. In the end, they buckled down and did what they had to do. I’m proud of the point guards because they controlled the tempo.”
Plaquemine head coach Brannon Dillon said his team is young, but he’s proud of how they played hard throughout the game.
“It’s been up and down this season,” he said. “Sometimes you can see the potential and talent we have on the team; other times, you see the immaturity. I think they’re going to get better. We’re just trying to set up for the future. We’re trying to get them some game experience. For a lot of the girls, it’s their first time playing.”
Rivers led all scorers with 19 points. Ceiara Davis finished with 15 for the Green Devils. Seals added five, while Asia Collins and Alaysia Walker each chipped in a point.
Janae Southall was the top scorer for Donaldsonville with 12 points. Tia Joseph and Jalair Johnson each tallied nine points, while L’Nysia Johnson finished with seven. Tia Richard and Layla Ester had five apiece, and Jayla Walker recorded a point.
Early in the game, both teams struggled to get on the scoreboard. The defensive stalemate ended when Jalair Johnson scored the first points at the 4:55 mark in the first quarter.
The Tigers held a 22-13 first half lead, helped by 3-pointers from Southall, Joseph and Jalair Johnson.
Both coaches expressed optimism about the upcoming slate of games.
“Hopefully, we can use this game as a building point going into district,” Joseph said. “It’s a tough district, but hopefully we can come out strong and use this as an inspiration to close out a game. That’s something we weren’t able to do all season. They’ll take this as positivity and have the confidence in themselves to close a game with such magnitude.”