DENHAM SPRINGS — What’s the difference between a case of déjà vu and déjà vu all over again?
It’s all in how you finish, a point the Denham Springs High School girls basketball team proved in a 53-48 come-from-behind victory over Zachary on Friday night.
“At halftime, we knew we hadn’t played our best basketball,” DSHS coach Shelly Laprarie said. “We were in almost exactly the same situation in our first game of the year at St. Michael.
“We focused on doing the little things right, playing every possession in that game. We got close, but we didn’t win that one. Tonight, we won.”
Déjà vu definitely, only this time with a different view at the end.
Tremeeka Spikes scored a game-high 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the District 4-5A showdown played at Hornsby gym. Caroline Taylor added 13 points and Lexi McMorris scored all 12 of her points in the second half for the Yellow Jackets (21-2, 4-0).
Denham Springs trailed by as much as 17 points in the first half and went nearly 10 minutes without scoring. But a 22-6 third-quarter run was the jump-start the Yellow Jackets needed.
“It was definitely heart,” Taylor said. “In the beginning, we were rushing our shots ... rushing everything,” Taylor said. “It was definitely a team effort. It was like a snowball. Once one thing started going right, it kept going.”
Three players — Bryanna Langford, Rayah Haynes and Tamia Veal — each had 11 points for Zachary (17-9, 3-1). Veal had a game-high 16 rebounds.
Christina Canale drove through the lane to score two early baskets for Denham Springs. The second with 5:36 left in the first quarter gave DSHS a 4-2 lead. Things went downhill from there for the home team.
DSHS made 6 of 16 first-quarter shots. The DSHS scoring drought was more than enough to give Zachary the opening it needed to take control. Haynes scored six first-quarter points, including a 3-pointer that gave the Broncos their first lead.
Zachary closed out the first quarter a 14-0 run and led 16-6. The Broncos scored the first seven points of the second quarter.
Spikes ended the DSHS drought was a layup at the 4:06 mark. She added five more points as the Yellow Jackets outscored Zachary 7-4 over the final four minutes. But Zachary still led 27-13.
“I settled down and tried to score and rebound,” Spikes said. “The key was we started playing better as a team as the game went on.”
Taylor had seven third-quarter points, while McMorris added six. Seven turnovers were the undoing for the Broncos. Taylor’s 3-pointer from the baseline with 2:22 to go in the third quarter gave DSHS a 30-29 lead, its first since the opening minutes.
An 8-0 surge midway through the final quarter help Denham Springs take control after bringing a 35-33 lead into the fourth quarter.
“The second half we turned the ball over and that cost us the game,” Zachary coach Mike Stephens said. “It’s a lack of experience. All year long, we’ve been the team that had to come from behind. We’d never been in that situation before.
“The good news is we did not lose the district title tonight. And Denham Springs didn’t win it. There’s a long way to go.”