Two Livingston Parish girls basketball teams, top-seeded Albany High, of Class 3A, and No. 5 Denham Springs High in 5A, punched their tickets to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Top 28 regional semifinal tournaments on Monday night.
In West Monroe, Denham Springs High rallied to notch a 53-45 win over No. 4 West Monroe in 5A quarterfinal action. Meanwhile, Albany exacted a measure of revenge with a77-47 victory over Shreveport’s Loyola Prep at home in 3A action. Loyola, an eighth seed, beat AHS to win the 3A title last spring.
DENHAM SPRINGS 53, WEST MONROE 45: DSHS made a series of key plays down the stretch. Carlisha Kinchen scored 13 points and Jena Mabile added 11, including a handful of 3-pointers to help the District 4-5A champions stay in front.
With the victory, Denham Springs (26-5) advances to face top-seeded Southwood High-Shreveport. The site and date of that semifinal will be announced later this week. Southwood beat New Iberia 50-42 in its quarterfinal.
“We just had to keep our composure,” DSHS coach Shelly Laprarie told the Monroe News-Star. “We had to call timeout (early in the game) and switch up our defense. Then we started hitting shots on offense.”
Denham Springs took the lead midway through the third quarter and led 34-28 going into the fourth quarter. Caletria Curtis and Brianna Ensminger hit key shots to help the Yellow Jackets extend their lead to 47-41. Mabile’s 3-pointers were also a factor.
Chelzee Matthew scored a game-high 14 points and Taylor Holzmeier added 12 for West Monroe (28-7).
ALBANY 77, LOYOLA 47: In Albany, three players combined for 65 points to power the host Hornets (26-8). Danielle Keith scored a game-high 24 points, while Meme Sykes added 23. Shelby Stewart added 18.
Albany set the tone by outscoring the Flyers 24-7 in the first quarter and 48-19 in the opening half. Amber Smith finished with 17 points and Gabrielle Matthews had 11 for Loyola (24-10).
VERMILION CATHOLIC 67, ST. EDMUND 40: In Eunice, second-seeded Vermilion Catholic outscored St. Edmund 14-3 to gain an advantage. With the victory, VCHS (28-6) advances to play North Central (27-4) in a regional semifinal later this week.
Ashailee Braley led the Eagles with a game-high 28 points, while Katie Frith added 18. Kaylen Collins chipped in 10 for the winners.
Ashley Newsome, who also scored 10 points, was the only double digit scorer for St. Edmund (19-9).