NEW ORLEANS — Warren Easton’s Jeremy Edwards likes being a target, the center of high school girls basketball attention in the state.
It’s got its ups and downs, Edwards admitted. But the best part is that it makes her and the Eagles play harder. Friday night’s 63-39 District 10-4A win against Cabrini served as the latest example.
Easton, the top-ranked 4A school in the first Louisiana Sports Writers Association poll, remained undefeated this season against in-state schools by starting with a 20-5 run in the first quarter, a lead which continued to increase as the Eagles transformed turnovers into layups in front of their home crowd.
By the time the Eagles (22-2) walked off the court, they had dispatched of Cabrini with the same level of early intensity, speed and precision.
“Everybody wants to beat us,” said Edwards, who scored 16 points. “We have to step up to the challenge. Being a target makes you want to play harder, because you know everybody out there is coming for you.”
Guard Lawriell Wilson led the offensive charge, scoring 15 of her game-high 24 points in the first half, allowing Easton to build a 33-16 halftime lead. Point guard Kechelle Figueroa added 10 points with six assists.
“Getting the ball down the court was really hard,” Cabrini center Rakell Spencer said. “We worked on it in practice. We just have to have that attitude that we want to win. We can learn from it, to be tougher when we come out.”
On this night, it proved to be more than enough to give Cabrini (14-10, 3-1) its first district loss of the season. Spencer (15 points), who played despite stomach virus symptoms earlier Friday, was the Crescents’ lone scorer in double digits.
“This is a tough place to play,” Cabrini coach Nancy Walsh said. “We didn’t play as smart as I wanted to play tonight, and we didn’t play with as much poise. Rakell didn’t feel good.”
And when she doesn’t feel good, the whole team doesn’t feel good.
If there is a blemish on the court for the Eagles, it’s that coach Darius Mimms said he wants his players to finish games as well as they start. That will allow them to play better against better teams as they prepare for another playoff run.
On Saturday, Easton hosts No. 4 St. Thomas More, which defeated the Eagles last season in the 4A title game.