McKinley gets Scotlandville in first round of girls basketball playoffs _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- St. Michael girls basketball coach Tami Reynolds-McClure coaches against John Curtis on Dec. 18.

Tami McClure, who coached girls basketball for 16 years at St. Michael the Archangel High School, will become the Zachary girls head basketball coach for the 2016-17 season.

“This is an opportunity for myself and my family that I could not pass up,” said McClure, who compiled a 416-153 record at St. Michael. “It’s the top academic school district in the state. The facilities are fabulous, and I think there’s a chance for some great things.”

McClure’s Warriors (27-9) advanced to the Class 4A semifinals last month. Her teams made it to the LHSAA’s Girls Top 28 tournament five times and won Class 4A state titles in 2008 and 2009. St. Michael’s other tourney appearances were in 2011 and 2013.

Zachary won a share of the District 4-5A title under interim coach Mike Stephens and finished 23-11, losing to eventual 5A state champion Mount Carmel in the second round of the playoffs.

Stephens was named interim coach after April Brown Barnes was relieved of coaching duties in October.

At the end of the basketball season, McClure stepped aside after eight years as St. Michael’s athletic director and began conversations with Zachary Principal Joe LeBlanc and Athletic Director Jesse Cassard.

“I personally think we’ve hired the best coach in the state,” Cassard said.

Broncos shine at Dutchtown

The Zachary girls claimed the team title and the boys tied for second at the Elder Outreach Dutchtown Invitational track and field meet in Dutchtown recently.

The Lady Broncos continued their impressive spring outdoor season run, collecting 139 points to outdistance St. Joseph’s Academy, which had 120. Zachary’s boys scored 90 points to tie St. Amant with 90 points, finishing behind Dutchtown with 107 points.

Leading the way for Zachary’s girls was Kristian Jackson, who was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Field Athlete after impressive victories in the discus and shot put. Jackson’s discus effort was a personal best of 129 feet, 1 inch, more than 33 feet better than the second-place finisher (95-7). Jackson was almost as remarkable in the shot put, winning with a throw of 43 feet, 9 inches, well ahead of the second-place toss at 35-11. Frankie Griffin also captured two firsts, claiming the high jump (5 feet, 4 inches) and the 300-meter hurdles (42.28 seconds).

Also earning first-place honors for the girls were Janie O’Connor in the 400-meter run (55.71 seconds), Candace Baity in the 100-meter hurdles (16.62), Kiara Bethley in the 200-meter dash (25.68 seconds) and A’Neseya Dunn in the javelin (115 feet).

Other notable finishes for the ZHS girls were Baity, second, 300 hurdles (50.03); Kayla Clifton, second in the 100 (12.64); Kiara Bethley, third, 100 (12.72); Indya Jackson, third, 400 (1:00.44); the 4x100 relay team, second, 50.70; and the 4x200 team, third, 1:46.79.

For the Bronco boys, top-three finishers included Travis Simmons, second, 300 hurdles (42.55); the 4x100 relay team, second (43.76); Evan Landry, second, javelin (160-00); Cameron Carrier, third, javelin (144-09); L’Jean McKneely, third, 110 hurdles (16.01); William Heidke, third, 1,600 (4:54.62); Kellton Hollins, third, shot put (49-05); and Deonte Bacon, third, long jump (21-03).

Send sports news, photos and stats to Howard Arceneaux at harceneaux @theadvocate.com.