WALKER — Patience is a virtue. Just ask Walker senior basketball player Jamie Gibson, who picked up four first-half fouls and sat out the first nine plus minutes of the second half in a Class 5A regional girls basketball playoff game.
Gibson returned to score 11 of her game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter as No. 2 Walker held off pesky South Lafourche 55-53 Monday night.
No. 15 South Lafourche (26-7) held Walker to just five points in the third quarter and the Lady Tarpons went on an 8-0 run in the final two minutes to take a 34-32 lead. Brinkley Callais hit a long jumper for SLHS to cut the deficit to 42-41.
Gibson hit two free throws with 5:00 remaining to tie the game at 39. She then assisted to fellow senior Baylie Stears, who drained her fourth 3-pointer of the game from the top of the key to put the Wildcats up for good at 42-39.
Callais hit a long jumper for South Lafourche to cut the deficit to 42-41.
Walker went on a 10-2 run from there with Gibson scoring six points. South Lafourche hit three 3-pointers in the final minute but ran out of time to rally.
“We all did our jobs,” said Gibson, a returning All-Metro player who hit 12 of 16 free throws. “I watched my teammates step up and they held it together. When I came back in and I saw the double team coming I kicked it out to our shooters.”
Walker advances to the quarterfinals for the second straight year and will travel to No. 7 Natchitoches Central, a 70-46 winner over Acadiana.
Stears scored 14 for Walker. Kacie Fountain and Keeona Brown added 10 each.
“We did what we had to do down the stretch,” Walker coach Korey Arnold said. “We made some key stops and made our free throws. I didn’t feel like we were motivated to start the game, and we had too many turnovers with 28.”
Walker’s defense forced 13 turnovers in the second half. SLHS had 23 turnovers in the game.
The Lady Tarpons hit eight 3-pointers. Caroline Guilbeau scored 11 of her team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter and hit four 3-pointers. Callais added three 3-pointers and 11 points.
Walker eliminated SLHS 52-36 last season in the opening round.
“We came out here and showed Walker something they didn’t think we had,” said SLHS coach Rainie Terrebonne. “I’m very proud of the girls. Our kids gave everything they had.”
The game was tied three times in the first quarter. Gibson scored 8 points in the first quarter. SLHS led 10-8, but Walker went on an 8-0 run to lead 16-10 at the break.
Gibson picked up her fourth foul with 3:34 remaining in the second quarter. Walker took a 25-16 lead 20 seconds later on a follow shot by Stears.
South Lafourche cut the deficit to 27-26 following a 3-pointer by Callais with 4:17 remaining in the third quarter. Walker finally got on the scoreboard with a follow shot Brown with 3:16 remaining.