LAKE CHARLES — Salmen High’s Kalani Brown put together one of the most dominant performances in tournament history, scoring 30 points and pulling down 23 rebounds on Saturday night.
But rival Warren Easton High used balance to defeat two-time defending state champion Salmen 46-42 in the Class 4A title game that helped highlight the final day of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Girls Top 28 tournament.
Warren Easton (33-1) won its first state title in girls basketball. The Eagles were led by Sabrina Banks, who had 17 points. Kechell Figueroa added 13 points.
Salmen’s Brown, a Baylor signee, was selected the Most Outstanding Player in the 4A final. She made 13 of 17 shots from the floor and 4 of 5 free throws. A Baylor signee, Brown led the Spartans (27-5) with a game-high 30 points and 23 rebounds. Deja Starks added six points.
A two-point game with 6:23 left, Warren Easton went on an 8-0 run to grab their biggest lead at 42-36 with 5:12 left on back-to-back 3-pointers by Figueroa and Banks.
Up 44-42 with 21.2 seconds left Figueroa calmly hit two free throws to give the Eagles a four-point lead.
Trailing 22-19 at the half, Salmen (27-5) went on a 7-3 run midway through the third quarter to take the lead. Warren Easton took the lead back the final minute of the third by the final five points of the quarter to lead 34-32.
PONCHATOULA 47, WALKER 29: Capturing the school’s first state championship, top-seeded Ponchatoula was in control most of the way against No. 2 Walker in Class 5A.
Ponchatoula (29-3) was led by Arianna Hamilton’s game-high 18 points. Kayla Lee added 13 points and four rebounds.
Up 31-21 after three quarters, the Green Wave’s lead never got below five points as the defense paced the effort, forcing Ponchatoula into 33 turnovers.
NORTH CADDO 55, PICKERING 49: North Caddo won its second straight 2A title. The Rebels (24-11) were led by Keyarrea Easter’s game-high 22 points and 7 rebounds. Jasmine Thomas added 18 points and 11 rebounds and was selected as the Most Outstanding Player for the 2A title game. Sumer Williams had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the winners.
Trailing 22-21 coming out of the halftime locker room, the story of the third quarter was Thomas. She outscored Pickering 11-0 the final 4:27 of the third quarter to give the Rebels a 36-27 lead.
Pickering got as close as 46-45 with under two minutes left in the game, but could never regain the lead.
Amy McKellar paced the Devils with seven of the 12 points in the run and led Pickering with 10 first-half points.
Playing in the school’s first-ever state championship game, Pickering (26-5) was led by McKellar’s 15 points and five rebounds. Terrinisha Mosley added 11 points, six rebounds and six assists.