PLAIN DEALING — The week in between games, coupled with the five-plus-hour trip prolonged by detours to avoid icy patches in the road, weren’t enough to slow down Vermilion Catholic’s girls from advancing in the state playoffs.
After having its Class 1A state regional playoff game postponed three times this week because of a winter storm, No. 2-seeded Vermilion Catholic responded with a resounding 57-36 victory Thursday over No. 18 Plain Dealing.
“They were focused,” said VC coach Kim Guidry, whose team hadn’t played in a week since its first-round win. “I thought it was a great team effort. They made a little run at us in the second half, but we held tight and answered. It was good for us.”
VC (23-4) returns home Saturday to face No. 7 St. Mary’s of Natchitoches in a quarterfinal at 3 p.m. The winner advancesing to Tuesday’s Top 28 tournament at 7:30 p.m. in Lake Charles.
From the outset VC appeared to be in control, scoring the first seven points and never trailing.
The Eagles turned a 14-5 first-quarter lead into a 26-16 halftime advantage with Ashailee Brailey, Lexie Langlinais and Kelly White combining for 23 points.
Guidry said it was the outside shooting of Langlinais, who scored 16 points and had three of her team’s six 3-pointers, that helped foil Plain Dealing’s defensive plans to stop Brailey with a box-in-one defense.
“That was the key,” Guidry said. “They tried a box-in-one on Ashailee, and Lexie lit up. So they had to come out and get her which opened up the inside for Kalen (Collins). It just created other problems for them. You could tell they were surprised when Lexie started hitting.”
Brailey also wound up with three 3-pointers and led VC with 18 points. Langlinais adding 16 and Collins 14.
The Eagles extended their lead to 46-28 by outscoring the Lions 20-12 in the third quarter.
“It was special to be able to bring the quarters back home,” Guidry said. “They had a small gym there and I thought our girls stayed focused and didn’t get rattled. They weren’t a bad team, but I thought our defense really stepped up and helped.
“We had some scoring from different people, and that helped because at every level it gets a little bit harder,” Guidry said. “You have to have everybody be a threat and we did a good job of that tonight.”
CLASS 4A QUARTERFINALS: No. 7 Rayne will travel to face No. 2 Salmen at 3 p.m. Saturday, while No. 11 Breaux Bridge is tentatively set for a 7 p.m. tip- off Saturday at Edna Karr.