University and Broadmoor will play for the East Baton Rouge Parish Girls Basketball Tournament championship on Saturday.
No. 3-seeded Broadmoor won the tournament last year and will make its fourth trip to the championship game in four years. It’s No. 1-seeded U-High’s first year in the tournament. The Cubs won by 11 when the two teams played earlier this season.
The championship game starts at 7:30 at Tara.
“We’re very honored to be in this tournament,” University assistant coach Susan Gremillion said. “We’ve been trying to get in this tournament for years. Now, we’re super excited about being in the championship and trying to live up to the expectations of being the No. 1 ranked team in this tournament.”
Gremillion coached in place of head coach Bonita Johnson, who had a family emergency.
To advance, University beat Scotlandville 64-58. University led by eight twice before winning, but the game had multiple ties and numerous lead changes.
Broadmoor never trailed in its 57-46 win over Belaire. The Buccaneers led 16-9 after the first quarter, and Belaire cut the Broadmoor lead down to one point twice. In the fourth quarter, Broadmoor opened up its lead to 11 and led comfortably until the final seconds.
To start the second half, U-High led 41-33 before Scotlandville went on an 8-0 run to tie the game. Justice Coleman capped the run with a layup, and Coleman finished with 18 points.
“Scotlandville played us really well,” Gremillion said. “They played hard and every second there was. We needed to do some things better, but they did every thing to make life really hard.”
When one team scored, the other immediately answered. After Coleman’s layup, U-High’s Destiny Ephron powered in a layup of her own and allowed the Cubs to regain the lead. Ephron finished with 21 points and Kaila Anderson added 18.
The game was tied at 51 after the third quarter, but in the final minute of the game, turnovers plagued Scotlandville and freethrows cushioned U-High’s lead.
Celica Sterling scored 19 points and Taylor Holliday added 12 for the Hornets. Belaire’s Denetria Wren scored 12 points, Sidney Criss pitched in 13 and Chelsey Smith scored 11.
Honchea Thornton led Broadmoor in scoring with 22 points. Mikayla Crockett followed with 15 and Samira Irvin added 14.
“Those girls played hard, and they’re playing together,” Broadmoor coach Terrence Gillette said. “We’re playing a little bit better than we did in beginning of the season. Hopefully we’ll find a way to get over the hump (on Saturday).”