Top-seeded Warren Easton and No. 8 Ellender battled for the lead for most of their girls Class 4A quarterfinal game Saturday at Mount Carmel.
However, Easton finished on a 7-0 run to prevail 55-47.
The Eagles play the winner between Cabrini-Bastrop on in a semifinal at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Top 28 in Lake Charles.
“The only thing I was thinking about in my head was I don’t want to lose,” said Easton’s Kechelle Figueroa. “I want to go all the way to the championship”
Easton (31-1) started its fining run when Keiara Williams scored for a 50-47 lead with 1:58 left. Following a layup by Figueroa, Shaniqua Tobias made one of two free throws with 26 seconds left to make it 53-47.
“I was kind of nervous coming up to this game because we’ve been successful the last three years,” Easton coach Darius Mimms said. “So, it’s hard to motivate them.”
With the Patriots ahead 39-34 at the end of the third quarter, the Eagles did find the motivation as they outscored Ellender 21-8 in the final period.
“I told my seniors there are eight more minutes left in your career if you don’t do something about it,” he said. “We got in foul trouble. The light clicked on. We got the lead and we held on to it.”
For Ellender coach Adrian Blake, her team was stymied by its turnovers.
“Turnovers killed us,” Blake said. “That was the biggest pet peeve for us was taking care of the ball.”
Figueroa and Shaniqua Tobias both led Easton with a game-high 16 points while Kaya Walls had 10.
Sky Jasper led the Patriots (21-11) with 15 points. Both Kiara Scott and Orieon James had 10.
Ellender jumped out to a 4-0 lead with 6:05 left in the first quarter. Figueroa gave Easton its first points when she sank a 3-pointer on the left side to cut the lead to 4-3.
Figueroa, who ended the first half with nine points, made a layup with 4:49 left that gave the Eagles a three-point advantage.
Easton amassed a six-point lead in the second quarter when Tobias made a jump shot, however Ellender slowly cut the advantage
Orieon James made two free throws that gave her team a 26-25 lead with 37.5 seeconds left in the half.
In the fourth, Ellender started with Jasper making a jumper that gave her team a 41-34 lead with 7:51 left.
That was followed by Easton’s 7-0 scoring run that started with a Tobias 3-pointer and ended with her making a layup with 6:40 left in the game. That tied the game at 41-41.
The Eagles then led 46-43 when Figueroa made a 3-pointer with 4:43 left.