After losing to District 10-4A rival Warren Easton in the season finale, Edna Karr’s girls basketball team knew it needed to take a long look in the mirror.
The Cougars (21-7) weren’t happy with the way they competed against the defending Class 4A state champions, but the loss provided them with a much-needed dose of humility going into the postseason.
No. 4-seeded Karr’s motivation helped it cruise past No. 29 St. Scholastica with a 78-24 opening-round win in the Class 4A playoffs at Karr on Wednesday night.
“Ever since Easton, we expressed to our kids how important it was for everyone to contribute,” Karr coach Jessica Barber said. “Against Easton, we only had two kids in double figures, which is unlike us.
“We had five of the seven that played meaningful minutes tonight score in double figures, and I think that mentality will help us going forward.”
West Florida commitment Imani Mulmore led the scoring charge for the Cougars with 19 points and four rebounds, while Nicholls State commitment Paige Williams added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Zharian Maxmillion had 14 points and six rebounds.
Mulmore said Karr will need to bring the same intensity in order to get a win in it’s second-round matchup against the winner of No. 13 Carencro-No. 20 Minden.
“We’re a team with a lot of talent, but we forget to do the little important things,” Mulmore said. “We just have to harp on the little things, and that way we don’t fall behind just by making those dumb mistakes.”
Karr overwhelmed St. Scholastica from the opening tip with its aggressive full-court pressure and constant onslaught around the basket on offense.
The Cougars were up 19-6 at the end of the first quarter and put the game out of reach by expanding that lead to 46-12 by halftime.
Barber said her team’s desire to put the game away so early displayed how it come out with the right mentality to prepare for a deep playoff run.
“We’ve been pressing on them how we need to get stops and turn it into quick offense,” she said. “We didn’t really do that against Easton, but we had a few fast breaks where the ball didn’t touch the floor, so that shows progress.”
Wednesday’s game marked the Doves (13-12) first trip to the playoffs since 2006 and, despite the way the season ended, St. Scholastica coach Lacey Sharp said she was proud of the way her team competed this season.
“It’s been kind of a rocky road, but my kids stepped up,” Sharp said. “We obviously don’t have the talent to match up with a team like Karr, but my girls give 100 percent every time they step on the court.”