Cabrini defeated Destrehan 52-51 thanks to a seven-point surge in the fourth quarter of the championship game of the in the Dominican Thanksgiving Classic on Wednesday.
Rakell Spencer also contributed a key free throw made in the final minute to help the Crescents hold on for the victory.
Cabrini rolled into the championship game after winning three games in two days, which included a victory over Thibodaux at 9 a.m.
Cabrini coach Nancy Walsh said she would have preferred to have had a rest before the championship game.
“I’m proud of our girls right now because they found a way to stay tough,” Walsh said. “We started out great but gave up a lot of momentum in the last few minutes. We wanted to make a statement against good opponents, and it’s a huge sign of things to come. We used our timeouts wisely, and Kyla made some excellent defensive plays.”
Senior Kyla Williams recorded two charging fouls in the final three minutes. Her stellar defense stymied an run by the Wildcats with 48 seconds left. Williams scored a team-high 17 points, to go along with two steals and three assists.
The Wildcats led at halftime 26-24 after a 10-0 run to start the second quarter. They carried that lead into the fourth quarter.
Senior Cara Ursin hit some big shots and scored 27 points for the Wildcats. Her last points helped her team pull within one point of a tie. Her last-second shot missed off the back rim as time expired. Jasmine Morris added seven points and three steals for the Wildcats.
Destrehan made its way to the championship after only two games because of a lack of teams in its bracket. The Wildcats beat Thibodaux and Ursuline in bracket play.
Wildcats coach Angi Butler said she needed to contain their star player, Rakell Spencer, but also stay aggressive on offense.
“The girls played really hard and these are the type match-ups we like to have,” said Butler. “We had a tough time with fouls, but I think we played pretty good given the circumstances. Cara is a big part of our offense, and she laid everything on the line for us tonight. She did a great job containing one of their star players (Spencer, so I couldn’t ask for much more. We had chances to win, but we left a lot points on the floor.”
Cabrini opened the game on a 9-2 run thanks to a seven points by Kelsey Pinera. Cabrini post players Williams and Spencer gave the Wildcats problems. Spencer (nine points) and Williams (17) combined for 26 points. Erin Temple scored 11 points and recorded three 3-pointers.