Free throws made the difference in a win or loss against a state-ranked 2A team when Port Allen watched a lead fizzle in the fourth quarter in a 36-34 loss to French Settlement in non-district action.
The frustrating loss came largely in part to an 8-for-19 showing at the line in a game that the Lady Pels dominated in the first half.
“We played well most of the game, and certainly much better than the last time we played French Settlement, but free throws cost us the game,” PAHS coach Kim Cox said.
PAHS rolled to an 8-0 lead in the first quarter and went to the locker room ahead 16-10 at the second half.
French Settlement turned up the defense in the second half and scored 12 points against the seven for the Lady Pels, which cut the PAHS lead to 23-22 going into the fourth quarter.
Missed free throws in the fourth quarter, coupled with a 14-point run by the Lady Lions slammed the door on an upset for Port Allen, which slipped to 11-12 and 2-2 in district action.
“We played much better this time around, but it seems like the girls were worn down by the fourth quarter, but in the end it all came down to the free throws,” Cox said. “A better showing at the free throw line would’ve given us the win, which is frustrating.”
Jordyn Mitchell led Port Allen with 17 points, while May Lee had seven.
PAHS ventures to East Feliciana on Friday and hosts Capitol in district battles which could make the difference in a home berth or road trip for the upcoming Class 2A non-select playoffs.
“We’re going to need to stay focused and realize that these two games could make the difference in what happens with the playoffs,” Cox said.