ZACHARY — Zachary outscored No. 18 seed Landry-Walker 12-3 in the final four minutes to take a 48-40 Class 5A girls bidistrict playoff victory Thursday night.
Zachary 6-foot senior post player Tamia Veal scored all 16 of her points in the second half, with four of the baskets set up on strong drives and assists by senior point guard Aleah Haynes.
No. 15 Zachary (24-9) advances to a regional playoff game Monday at No. 2 Mount Carmel.
Landry-Walker (23-4) switched to a box-and-one defense in the second quarter to try to slow ZHS sophomore guard Bryanna Langford, who had eight points in the first quarter.
The defense initially worked as Landry-Walker outscored the Broncos 13-8 in the second quarter to take a 21-19 lead at halftime.
Zachary did a better job in the second half of penetrating the gaps in the zone and working the ball inside.
The Broncos were also stellar at the free-throw line (17 of 23).
Jamecia Profit hit all eight of her free throws, including four in the final 30 seconds. Langford hit all four of her free throws and finished with 12 points.
“We knew if we could keep Landry-Walker under 50 points we had a good chance to win,” Zachary coach Mike Stephens said. “We really rebounded the ball well in the second half. It was a total team effort.”
Veal grabbed 14 rebounds and Profit eight. Profit finished with 12 points.
“We just couldn’t make layups in the second half,” Landry-Walker coach Jack Washington said. “Zachary dominated us on the glass, and their second shots killed us. We went to the box-and-one, and it worked for a while. Zachary was super aggressive and took it to the hole.”
Jomyra Mathis led Landry-Walker with 17 points, including 11 in the first half. Bri Williams and Dajuana Griffin scored eight points each.
Landry-Walker took its first lead of the fourth quarter at 37-36 on a layup by Williams with four minutes left.
Zachary’s Rayah Haynes tied it on a free throw to start a 5-0 run. Veal added an inside basket and Profit two free throws.
Bri Love hit a free throw to cut the Zachary lead to 43-40 with 1:46 remaining. That was the last point for the visitors, who missed their last six field goal tries.
Zachary led 19-15 at the midpoint of the second quarter but failed to score before the break.
Landry-Walker went on a 6-0 run to close the half with two backcourt steals and layups.
Zachary led by as much as five points in the third quarter. Langford blocked a Landry-Walker 3-point attempt as time expired in the third quarter with ZHS leading 32-29.