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Brusly girls top Port Allen; Lady Panthers await playoffs

Written by John Dupont on .

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One local girls basketball team looks ahead this week to the Class 3A playoffs while the other will likely turn in its gear.

Brusly survived a late Port Allen run for a 47-42 win in District 7-3A action Friday.

The visiting Lady Panthers ended the regular season 15-12 and 5-3 in District 7-3A. Port Allen’s closed action 11-17 and 3-7.

Unofficial Louisiana High School Athletic Association power rankings last week listed Brusly 27th and Port Allen 37th.

The top 32 teams enter post-season playoffs, which begin next week. The LHSAA will announce pairings Thursday.

District champion E.D. White and St. James are the only other 7-3A squads set for post-season. Donaldsonville was ranked just outside the Top 32 in last week’s rankings.

“The team is starting to play more and more as a team but still making random mistakes here and there,” Brusly coach Liza Whittingto said. I’m hoping we sneak into the playoffs and see what we can do.”

The Lady Panthers (15-12, 5-3) will head into the post-season fray after a showing dominated by sophomore Madison LaPrairie, who powered BHS with 22 points – 16 of them off from three-point range.

On the other side, it was a bittersweet ending for Rhecie Lee. The PAHS senior eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career, despite her team’s loss.

Lee led the Lady Pelicans (11-17, 3-7) with 12 points, which put her career total at 1,009.

“We’re definitely going to miss her,” PAHS head coach Demetrius White said. “

LaPrairie accounted for all of Brusly’s first-quarter scoring. She hit a trio of three-pointers and shot 2-of-4 free throws.

Lee posted five points (including a three-pointer), while J’Myrhea Douglas had two goals and a free throw.

The Lady Panthers led 29-19 at the half. Kelsey Parker led the way with six points, while LaPrairie had her fourth three-pointer. Parker and Donkita Williams posted two free throws.

Port Allen’s biggest run came off a 15-point rally in the fourth quarter, led by a six-point showing from Leah Keyes.

“It took us too long to get things going,” White said. “I congratulate Brusly and wish them all the best in the playoffs.”

Williams finished with nine points for Brusly, while Parker had eight and Akiya Thymes five. and Johnee LeBlanc had two.

Douglas had 11 points for the Port Allen, while Keyes and Shazmine Nichols had six apiece. Rhea Lee, Wilson and Veronique Thomas each had two.

Free throws hampered both teams. Brusly finished 14-of-29 at the line, while PAHS went 5-of-16.

The weak showing at the line remained a sore spot for White.

“We missed eleven shots and lose by five – it’s sickening,” he said. “We don’t deserve a playoff run with something like that.

“Most of the games we lost in district came off poor showings on free throws – we’d be in the playoffs had we done better on the line,” White said. “It’s definitely going to be our biggest focus during the off-season.”

White expressed enthusiasm about the up-and-coming talent, including Keyes, Rhea Lee and Wilson (who made her return in the finale).

“I hope to have a good number of girls coming back next season,” White said.

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