The Doyle girls basketball team officially began life last week without two of the best athletes the school has produced.
Presleigh Scott and Elise Jones have each moved on as Southeastern Louisiana signees — Scott in basketball and Jones in softball — and together they helped set the bar high in terms of what the Doyle Class 2A basketball program can accomplish.
“We’ve had a pretty successful three years,” Doyle coach Samantha White said. “We were ranked number one, we won a state championship, we were runner-up last year — I have a very good group of girls. We lost two girls that would combine for 50 or 60 (points) a night. That’s hard to replace and it's going to take us a little time to figure that out.”
The Tigers return seniors Kay Kay Savant, Kate Glascock and Charlie Naquin, but the bulk of the team will be comprised of underclass players including freshmen Kassidy Rivero, Kylee Savant and Shelby Taylor. Sisters Kay Kay and Kylee Savant were both starters last season when Doyle advanced to the state title game before losing 62-61 to Lake Arthur.
Doyle opened its season on Nov. 16 against Holden, and started two seniors and three freshmen. The Tigers trailed 46-33 after three quarters, but cut their deficit to 62-58 before Holden held on for a 66-60 win.
Rivero led Doyle with 22 points, Kylee Savant scored 12 and Kay Kay Savant added 5.
“I think we’re going to do a good job stepping up and learning how to lead,” White said. “There’s going to be some growing pains learning that’s what we need but its very much doable.”
The bar is set high, but it is still achievable.
State cross-country wrap up
Defending champion Cayden Boudreaux of Albany finished second in the LHSAA’s Class 3A cross-country championship held Nov. 16 at Northwestern State in Natchitoches. Boudreaux won the race last year with a time of 18:57.7, but has battled injuries this season. She finished second to Saige Christen of Patrick Taylor Academy with a time of 18:57.7.
In the team competition, the Albany girls were 10th while the Hornets boys were 15th.
In the 5A girls race, Hannah Linebaugh, of Denham Springs, ran 19:07.0 to finish sixth. It was the highest individual placing for any parish runner in the girls 5A race since the Yellow Jackets Amber Ferguson was seventh in 2014.
Walker’s Jacob Kennedy ran 16:27.1 to finish 16th in the boys 5A race as the Wildcats were 12th in the team standings.