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|Lady Rebels, Lady Eagles fall short in Top 28 tourney|
It's not good to make one of the best programs in the history of Louisiana High School girl's basketball angry.
Tied at 19 after the first 16 minutes of action, the Southwood Lady Rebels outscored West Monroe 29-10 in the second half, including 19-3 in the third quarter, en route to a 48-29 win in the Class 5A Top 28 tournament Monday night.
Raiyama Gatlin and Tyria Snow led the Lady Cowboys (36-3) with 12 points a piece and combined for 18 rebounds. Jasmine Grant also had 10 points.
Junior point guard Jasmine Jones led the Lady Rebels (27-8) with nine points and Kassietta Brown had eight points and seven rebounds.
"Certainly I thought at halftime that we were right where I thought we could be," West Monroe Head Coach John Green said. "We went toe-to-toe with them and I thought we played really well in the first 16 minutes.
"I thought we came out in the second half and had looks, but our shots did not fall down," Greeen said. "We started scrambling around and we panicked a little bit."
"I think our youth showed and we went on those not-scoring points spurts that you don't want to have as a team," Green continued. "It builds up and it snowballs and then all of a sudden you are down double-digits. It was not the kind of half that we wanted to end our year on."
Coming out like a house-of-fire to start the second half, Southwood scored the first six points of the game, while stopping the Lady Rebels from scoring a field goal for the first 5:43 of the third quarter. Outscoring West Monroe 19-3 in the third, the Lady Rebels were unable to cut Southwood's lead to single digits.
"I knew West Monroe was going to be tough," said Southwood Head Coach Steve McDowell. "We have a lot of respect for them; they are a really well coached team.
"Coming into the second half we did want to speed the game up and play our tempo," McDowell said. "I really think that helped us in the second half."
Finishing the game with nine points to go along with six rebounds, a pair of assists and a steal, Jones said Southwood's speed was tough to overcome.
"We were trying our best to come down the court and put points on the board," Jones said. "It did seem like we were trying to score faster and not take our time like we usually do. We were trying to catch up with them (Southwood) and were rushing shots. Then you look up and they have a big lead and we spent the rest of the night playing catch-up."
Things got off to a great start for West Monroe. The Lady Rebels kept the game in a slow-down pace. After a 7-0 run that extended into the second quarter, West Monroe held an 11-7 lead with 6:49 in the first half.
Down 15-13 after the Lady Cowboys went on a 6-0 run, the Lady Rebels responded with a 6-0 run of their own to grab a 19-15 lead before both teams headed to the locker-room tied at 19.
"The thing that is so unique about my team is that they were not surprised at halftime that we were tied and very in the ballgame," Green said. "We have gone toe-to-toe with them (Southwood) for the last four years and have won as many as we lost. We were not going into this game thinking it was David vs. Goliath. We have good players and so does Southwood. We just didn't execute and knock our shots down."