Entering the 2020-21 season Quitman head girls basketball coach Kyle Leach knew his squad had the potential to be special this year. After six games his girls have proven to be just that. Quitman won three games last week to up their record to 6-0 for the best start in the new millennium and become the last remaining undefeated school from north Louisiana in Class B.
The Lady Wolverines put their season opening, best record in over 15 years on the line this coming Tuesday when they face perhaps their sternest test of the year when neighboring Jonesboro-Hodge comes visiting. The Lady Tigers enter the contest with a 1-1 mark after knocking off Weston in their season opener before falling 51-39 to East Iberville in the Lakeview Tournament.
The boys teams from both schools will play following the contest for the only action of the week for the Jackson Parish neighbors. Weston is scheduled to visit Dodson for a boys and girls matchup against Dodson on Monday and Grace Christian (Alexandria) on Tuesday in limited Thanksgiving holiday action.
Games on boxcast! As most know by now the state of Louisiana has limited the number of fans that can come to a game to 25% of a gymnasiums capacity. For the three Jackson Parish schools that has caused some problems for the fans who normally would pour into the area gyms to support their schools.
Thanks to the Jackson Parish School Board who has partnered with the on-line web site Boxcast you can still follow the area teams, whether they are playing at home or on the road, by going to your favorite schools Facebook page and watch the games in real time.
Quitman 41 Haughton 27 (Girls)
It is suspected to be the first time ever that the Quitman girls have beaten a Class 5A school. It is certainly the first time since Kyle Leach became the girls head coach way back in 2004. Regardless the Lady Wolverines continued their season opening best start by outscoring the Lady Buccaneers 18-5 in the second quarter after both teams struggled to find the range in the early going.
Slow start! In the season home opener it seemed as though someone forgot to take the lid off the baskets at the Quitman gym as both squads combined for only 7 points in the first eight minutes. While Quitman finally warmed up in the second quarter it didn’t get much better for Haughton the rest of the way as Quitman limited the visitors to just 10 of 46 shooting (21.7%) and just one basket from three point range in 19 attempts.
Triple threat! Brayli Stewart led the Lady Wolverines with 14 points followed closely behind by Clara Womack and Bethany Leach who scored 11 each as the three combined for 36 of the 41 points scored and six of the seven three pointers that were made in the game. Cali Deal rounded out the scoring with five that included the other 3-pointer.
What’s up with that! Quitman defied logic by connecting on 7 of 12 three point attempts for a 58.3% shooting percentage. This is compared to making just 8 of 27 shots from inside the arc that tabulates to a .29.6% average and only 4 of 10 (40%) from the free throw line. Womack made 3 of 4 from behind the arc while Leach made 2 of 3. Deal made one of her two bombs taken with Stewart nailing one of three.
QHS (4-0) 3 18 10 10 – 41
HHS (1-1) 4 5 14 4 – 27
QHS scoring: Stewart 14, Womack 11, Leach 11, Deal 5
HHS scoring: Shyne 13, Chapple 4, White 4, Hooper 2, Phillips 2
Quitman 60 Claiborne Christian 37 (Girls)
Quitman exploded for 27 fourth quarter points to break open a close game for their fifth consecutive victory to start the season. Once again the Lady Wolverines started slow to fall behind by six after the first quarter but rallied to take a one point lead at the half.
Continued long range accuracy! For the second game in a row Quitman shot better from behind the arc than they did close up as the Lady Wolverines shot just 39.6% for the game but connected on 11 of 21 shots from three point land for an second consecutive above 50% average from downtown. Again it was Clara Womack, Bethany Leach and Brayli Stewart leading the way with four, three and three each with Cali Deal chipping in with a trey in her only attempt.
Pressure D! With the game still in question the Lady Wolverines picked up the intensity by forcing numerous turnovers in the second half and especially in the final quarter. For the contest the Quitman defense caused 21 turnovers compared to making just 8 in the game.
Balanced scoring: Quitman had three players finish with double digits in points scored and one more who finished just one point short. Bethany Leach paced the attack with 17 points followed closely by Clara Womack with 16. Cali Deal added 11 and Brayli Stewart chipped in with nine. Emma Carter and Ansley Folks scored two each.
QHS (5-0) 8 11 14 27 – 60
CCHS (3-3) 14 4 9 10 – 37
QHS scoring: Leach 17, Womack 16, Deal 11, Stewart 9, Carter 2, Folks 2
CCHS scoring: Russell 12, Head 10, Robinson 6, Bell 3, Towers 3, Miller 3
Quitman 46 St. Mary’s 41 (Girls)
In their first real test of the season Quitman extended their season opening streak to six straight by taking the five point victory over defending Division IV state champion St. Mary’s of Natchitoches for their second straight victory over a school from a larger classification.
Unique win! In every game this season to date, the Lady Wolverines have come out victorious by outshooting their opponent from the three point line to overcome a rebounding deficiency. Things were completely opposite in this one as St. Mary’s made more three pointers (7-6) but lost the rebounding battle 34-19. Emma Carter was the leading glass cleaner with a season best 9 boards followed by Cali Deal with six. Brayli Stewart grabbed four as every single Quitman player got at least one rebound.
Savior Stewart! While the rest of the team struggled to make only 7 of 32 shots (21.8%) and not a single three point shot Brayli Stewart stepped up to put the team on her back for 21 points on 7 of 15 shooting overall and 6 of 9 from behind the ar. Bethany Leach added 10 and Clara Womack 9 despite the normally sharp shooting pair suffering through an uncharacteristic 5 of 25 shooting performance and not making a trey for the first time all season.
QHS (6-0) 7 5 16 18 – 46
SMHS (0-1) 8 7 12 14 – 41
QHS scoring: Stewart 21, Leach 10, Womack 9, Deal 4, Carter 2
JHHS 69 Weston 63 (Girls)
Second-year JHHS head coach Britani Fields made it a perfect 2-0 in season openers this past Thursday evening as the Lady Tigers took the road victory. It is the sixth straight triumph for J-H in the series between the two schools separated by only 8 miles.
The contest brought both cheers and groans from fans from both sides as the two Jackson Parish schools experienced times where they were red hot and suffered through agonizing droughts.
In the end it was J-H who won after taking a sizable halftime lead, find themselves down in the fourth and then rally for the victory in the contest that was closer than the final score indicated.
Riding the Rollercoaster! The pace of the game resembled the Lady Wolves season to date as the 2020 roller coaster ride continued. Weston is now 3-4 on the year after the contest marked the seventh game in a row that the outcome was different from the game before.
Overcoming Emma! Behind 13 points from Xabrianna Jackson, who finished with a team high 27 points and 11 from Chamya Waters the Lady Tigers took a commanding 12 point lead early in the second quarter and held on for a 34-27 lead at the half.
Impressively J-H held all but one of the Weston starters to just three baskets and eight points in the first 16 minutes. That one though, Emma Kate McBride, was unstoppable as she lit Jonesboro-Hodge up for an impressive 19 first half points to keep Weston within striking distance.
Clawing back! With 5:14 to go in the 3rd quarter Weston had narrowed the deficit to three at 38-35. After just short of two minutes gone in the fourth the Lady Wolves took the lead at 56-55 by scoring the first six points in the final frame. McBride, who ended the night with a career high 32 points continued to stay hot and Mallory Tolar (11 points) hit a pair of treys to lead the charge.
Lady Tigers regroup! The game see-sawed back over the next four and a half minutes with both teams taking one point advantages at different time before Yahzmynne Andrews, who finished with 19 points and Waters (16 points) made back to back baskets with 1:14 to play to give the Lady Tigers a 65-62 lead.
Sydney says hello! The two teams swapped a free throw each to make the score 66-63 and with less than 20 seconds to go Waters made the front end of one. That is Sydney Malone introduced herself to the scorekeeper and ended any hopes of a comeback for Weston as she grabbed the rebound and followed with her only basket of the night to give J-H the winning margin.
JHHS (1-0) 20 14 21 14 – 69
WHS (3-4) 16 11 22 14 – 63
JHHS scoring: Jackson 27, Andrews 19, Waters 16, Hoggro 4, Malone 2, Bradford 1
WHS scoring: McBride 32, Tolar 11, Peterson 7, Maxwell 6, Hay 4, Austin 2, Bond 2
Weston 74 JHHS 64 (boys)
In the only action for both teams this past week, Weston’s 74-64 victory over Jonesboro-Hodge this past Thursday night represented a series of firsts. For the Tigers it was their first game of the season. In regard to Weston it was head coach Jacob Otwell’s first victory over Jonesboro-Hodge and the Wolves first victory over their parish neighbor since 2014 breaking a string of four consecutive losses. The victory also marked the first time this season that Weston has won back to back games.
Holt Jolt! Senior forward Jace Holt shocked the Tigers by scoring 18 of his season high 25 points in the first two quarters to pace the Wolves to a commanding 32-21 lead. Holt opened and closed the half with a flourish as he scored 10 of Weston’s first 12 points and then put an emphatic exclamation point on his team’s early dominance by draining a three pointer as time expired in the second quarter.
Shorthanded struggle! Jonesboro-Hodge dressed only eight for the contest and most of them were underclassmen seeing their first varsity action as many of the expected contributors this season are still playing football. The two that will continue to see heavy minutes for the Tigers once at full strength, JaMarrion “Pork Chop” Atkins and Edward “Robbie” Kary carried the load for J-H scoring 22 and 16 points respectively.
Bombs Away! Weston made only three baskets inside the arc in the second and third quarters but the five players who drained a total of 8 long bombs helped keep the Tigers at bay. Davis Tolar (10 pts), Holt and Cooper Harvey (8 pts) made two apiece with Kaden Shirley (8 pts) and Braden Theriot (4 pts) adding a three pointer each.
Furious fourth! With J-H being forced to resort to fouling in order to try and rally the Wolves went to the line 16 times in the fourth, making ten after taking only 12 freebies in the first three quarter. Eli McBride scored 10 of his 12 points and Mitchel Mathews made all nine of his points in the contest in the final frame to help Weston outscore the Tigers 25-24 in the quarter to give Weston the 10 point victory.
WHS (3-4) 16 16 17 25 – 74
JHHS (0-1) 11 10 19 25 – 64
(WHS) Holt 24, McBride 12, Tolar 10, Mathews 9, Harvey 8, Shirley 8 Theriot 4
(JJHS) Atkins 22, Kary 16, Joe 10, Tew 7, Beard 5, Lamkin 2
Quitman 63 Forest 32 (boys)
Quitman limited Forest to single digits in the first three quarters to win their season home opener going away in a Class B matchup. The victory was Quitman’s third straight to open the season while Forest fell to 0-3.
Balanced attack! Cooper Williams paced the Wolverines with 16 points followed closely behind by John Pabaya, who hit three of six three pointers for 14 points and Ethan Everett who scored 12. Joshua Smith added nine points and a team leading 8 rebounds and five blocks. Ladayrun Manning added four, Shane Rowe three, Ty Simonelli three and Eli Walker a basket to round out the scoring for Quitman.
Defense! It was the emphasis on defense which has been a major focus of first year head coach Mike Black that led the way to the easy victory as Forest never was able to score more than 7 points in the first three quarters. Quitman allowed Forest to make only 23% of their shots while forcing 23 turnovers and out-rebounded the visitors by a 29-14 margin.
QHS (3-0) 16 15 13 19 – 63
FHS (0-3) 7 6 6 13 – 32
QHS Scoring: Williams 16, Pabaya 14, Everett 12, Smith 9, Manning 4, Rowe 3, Simonelli 3, Walker 2
Quitman 65 Claiborne Christian 45 (boys)
Quitman opened the contest by taking a 21-11 first quarter lead and then blew the game open by taking an 18-7 advantage in the third to take the 20 point victory and remain undefeated after the first four games of the year.
Earning an identity! Webster’s defines a Wolverine as being aggressive and quietly furious. That personifies Coach Mike Black’s bunch to a tee so far in the early season going as Quitman held an opponent to 45 points or under and under 40% from the field for the fourth straight game.
Continued quarter success! Quitman stretched their streak of winning a quarter to 11 straight before being outscored in the final frame with mainly reserves playing. The Wolverines still haven’t allowed more than 14 points to be scored in a quarter but once the entire year.
Manning up! Cooper Williams scored 16 for the second consecutive game and Joshua Smith added 14 and 8 boards but it was Ladayrun Manning that stole the show by providing season best stats with 9 points and 7 rebounds. Ethan Everett chipped in with 6 while Shane Rowe, Ty Simonelli and Logan Ponder added four each. John Pabaya rounded out the scoring with two.
QHS (4-0) 21 16 18 10 – 65
CCHS (3-3) 11 13 7 14 – 45
QHS scoring: Williams 16, Smith 14, Manning 9, Everett 6, Rowe 4, Simonelli 4, Ponder 4, Pabaya 2