WALKER — By nature, tournament basketball games are tough to predict. Sometimes a team is up and at others the same team can be down.
At times the good and bad can be locked into one game. Albany helped prove that point with a 50-43 victory over Dutchtown at Walker’s Lady Cat tournament Thursday.
Equally perplexing and/invigorating was St. Amant High’s 50-44 victory over Jewel Sumner. The games played at WHS helped open the three-day tournament that features 43 teams.
“There were some good things,” Albany coach Stacy Darouse said. “I think they’re going to give me gray hair sometimes. Or a heart attack. We made free throws in the fourth quarter, and I’m thankful for that.”
The two games matched teams from districts 5-5A and 8-3A with opposite results. Games resume at 1:30 p.m. Friday at four sites.
Darilyn Rogers finished with 17 points and MeMe Sykes added 15 for 3A Albany, which led 10-4 after one quarter only to see Dutchtown (8-5) fight back to tie it 31-31 going into the fourth quarter.
Ferretta Brown added 12 points for the Hornets, a 3A semifinalist last season. Kelsie Baker led Dutchtown with 17 points, while Lashon Redditt added 10.
“We missed a lot of assignments,” Dutchtown coach Annette Lowery said. “We have to work on is defense. One good thing about a tournament like this is find out what you need to work on.”
Sykes hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter to help the Hornets build their lead. Dutchtown fought back to take a 19-18 lead on a layup by Baker 1:08 left in the half.
Albany led 22-19 at halftime.
Baker tied it at 31 to close the third quarter. Rogers scored six points in the final quarter, including making four three throws for the Hornets.
ST. AMANT 50, SUMNER 44: The Gators of 5-5A grabbed the lead early and displayed composure during the fourth quarter to pull out a win over the 3A Cowgirls (10-2).
“This was big for us,” St. Amant coach Kristy Englade said. “All the games we’ve lost up to this point have been close. I got after them a little bit at practice yesterday, focusing on some specific things. I guess that paid off.”
Kara Gremillion scored 16 points and Ny’Kyla Williams added 14 for the Gators (6-6). Those totals helped offset a game-high 23 points by Bre’Ashlee Jones of Sumner.
“This is not the way this team has played all year,” Sumner coach Kara Corkern said. “Maybe this is a wake-up call.”
Williams scored 12 of her points in the first half. The Gators led 13-9 after one quarter and 28-27 at halftime, thanks in part to a 3-pointer by Gremillion.
Sumner battled back to tie it at 39 after three quarters, but St. Amant outscored the Cowgirls 11-5 in the fourth quarter.
Afterwards, a college coach approached Englade to offer congratulations, a fact not lost on Walker coach Korey Arnold.
“One of the things our state doesn’t always do well is showcase the girls players,” Arnold said. “That’s the main reason why I like doing this. We’re supposed to have 20 to 25 college coaches here this weekend.”
Arnold’s Walker squad opened the tourney with a 60-29 win over Pine. Jamie Gibson scored 18 points and Keeona Brown added 16 for WHS.