On the same floor where Fairview ended Holden’s season last year, the Rockets gained a measure of revenge Saturday in a 64-34 victory matching two of Class B girls basketball’s traditional powers.
Fairview had won eight straight Class B state titles prior to losing in the state semifinals last season, and earlier this year the Panthers had beaten Holden by 36 points.
Also, the Panthers took a 72-63 win at Holden last year in the state quarterfinals, denying Holden a trip to the state tournament.
But it was a different story Saturday as Holden jumped to a 23-5 lead after shooting 73 percent in the first quarter and cruised to the big home win.
Sydney Hayden led Holden with 22 points and nine rebounds. K.K. Kropog added 18 points, including eight in the pivotal first quarter.
Fairview played without all-stater Callie Maddox, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in recent weeks.
Longtime Fairview coach Kyle Jinks said afterward that he considered Holden the team to beat this season in the Class B playoffs.
Holden improved to 15-5 under coach Pam Forbes, who is in the third year of her second stint as the team’s coach, as the Rockets won for the ninth time in 10 games.
Denham girls continue streak
The Denham Springs girls basketball team built its winning streak to 11 games Friday with a resounding 68-33 victory over Albany, the final tune-up for the Yellow Jackets before beginning 4-5A action.
Tremeeka Spikes led Denham with 23 points in a game as the Yellow Jackets led 44-19 at halftime.
Albany entered the game having won 10 of 11 since losing to Denham in the semifinals of the Livingston Parish tournament.
Next up for the Yellow Jackets was a home game against Walker, the 5A state runner-up last season, scheduled for Tuesday night in the 4-5A opener for both teams.
Denham continues to build toward a return to the postseason after missing the playoffs last year.
“We talked a lot about just coming together as a team and just buckled down and worked at what we had to do to get better,” Denham Springs coach Shelly LaPrarie said. “They made their minds up they were going to get in there and do it, and now it’s starting to pay off for them.”
Albany opens its own district slate Friday when the Hornets travel to face Amite in 7-3A play.
“We don’t have a choice but to go on a run,” Albany coach Stacy Darouse said.
Denham falls to St. Paul
The Denham Springs boys soccer team got a first-hand look at what will surely be the team to beat in the Division I state playoffs when the Yellow Jackets faced St. Paul’s in a home game last week.
Denham fell 3-0 to the Wolves as St. Paul’s scored once late in the first half and added two more goals in the second.
St. Paul’s has advanced to the state championship game in soccer each of the past five seasons, claiming the state title three times over that stretch.
The Wolves remained undefeated this season with the victory over Denham.
The Yellow Jackets (13-5-4) now turn their focus to district play as they were scheduled to open the league portion of their schedule on Tuesday against Baton Rouge High.
Five of the six teams in Denham’s district were part of the Division I playoffs last season.