Rich get richer in area prep girls play

There simply is no “middle class” among the Jackson Parish Journal coverage area girls prep hoops teams this year. With only a couple of exceptions  there is only two classifications – the “creamers” and the “dreamers.” Both continued their respective directional journeys during games played from January 12th – 18th.

In the “creamer” class, designated so as they are continuing to rise to the top of their respective classifications, the five teams that are represented carry a combined 48-17 record. Quitman, Cedar Creek, Winnfield and Choudrant continued to roll by winning all of their games played. Ruston split a pair but their loss carried no shame as it came to a traditional Class 5A power.  On the flip side the “dreamers”, as those who are dreaming of better fortunes: Arcadia, Saline, Calvin, Lincoln Prep and Dodson failed to taste victory once again and now stand with a paltry 4-38 combined record .

The jury is still out on JHHS, Weston and West Ouachita, who have been the exceptions to the two ruling groups, as they have all been up and down on the season. Weston is trending in the right direction by winning their last three after a yo-yo start over the first 15 games to move to a season best two games over the .500 mark. In the case of Jonesboro-Hodge, they are currently a rudderless ship as head coach Brittani Fields has been sidelined since mid December due to having surgery performed. Her presence has been obviously been missed as the Lady Tigers have dropped their last three after opening the year with six victories in seven games. Her return will be a welcome sight.  West Ouachita has simply played to the mid level team they are. They have beaten the teams they are supposed to and lost to the better ones. Now that district 2-5A play has begun where several teams are very good this year, they have their work cut out for them.  

Quitman 53 Calvin 36 (Friday, January 15th): The battle between the “have” and the “have not” went as expected with Quitman  rolling to their season best, sixth straight victory despite making only 18 of 73 shots for a 24.7% field goal average. The main advantage in the game came at the three point line where Quitman, as they have done several times this season, actually shot better from behind the arc than they did inside it. Eight of the 18 made shots were trey’s with Brayli Stewart and Bethany Leach making three apiece and Clara Womack adding two to lift Quitman to a sterling 14-2 record.

Calvin, who was trailing 50-25 after three quarters and has won only one of eight games played this year, didn’t fare any better with only 14 of 55 shots going in (25.5%)  and only 2 of 12 from behind the arc finding the mark.

Womack led the way with 16 points followed by Stewart and Leach who had 12 and 11 respectively. Cali Deal chipped in with 8 and Summer Grillette, Maddie Vail and Maddie Kate Brymer added two points each. Calvin was led by Trawick with 14 and Caskey with ten. 

Quitman (14-2)   19 16 15 3 – 53
Calving (1-7)        11 11 3 11 – 36

QHS scoring: Womack 16, Stewart 12, Leach 11, Deal 8, Brymer 2, Grillette 2, Vail 2
CHS scoring: Trawick 14, Caskey 10, Womack 4, Pullig 2, unknown 5

Quitman 50 Castor 48 (Thursday, January 14th) Eighth grader Cali Deal was faced with a tough decision. Should she go to the re-scheduled Jackson Parish School Board meeting to receive her Junior High Student of the Year award or play the game against Castor. Head coach Kyle Leach and the rest of the Lady Wolverines are glad she made the choice she did. 

Deal was instrumental in the victory by grabbing 12 rebounds and scoring 11 points, none more important than the two she made with just three seconds left to lift Quitman to the road victory. Her game winning shot came about when after the Lady Wolverines held the ball for the final thirty seconds, Bethany Leach drove the lane and smartly reacted to the Castor defense, which collapsed on her  and found Deal for the short jumper. 

The gym was jumping in the first half as Castor took a 32-22 lead into the break but Quitman came out in the third quarter and blitzed the Lady Tigers 20-7 to turn the game around. Brayli Stewart, who has emerged this year to become a consistent scoring threat, led the Lady Wolverines with 14 followed by 13 from Leach after a fine 3 of 5 performance from the three point line. Clara Womack added 8 and both Maddie Vail and Emma Carter chipped in a basket.

Quitman (13-2)   11 11 20 8 – 50
Castor (6-6)          19 13  7  9 – 48 

QHS scoring: Stewart 14, Leach 13, Deal 11, Womack 8, Carter 2, Vail 2
CHS scoring: n/a

Weston 71 Forest 42 (Friday, January 15th): It is the goal of every coach to have the team peaking heading into district play. Head coach Stacy Tucker seems to have reached his goal. After a yo-yo like, first fifteen games of the year where the Lady Wolves would bounce back and forth from winning one to losing one Weston looks to be hitting their stride. With the surprisingly easy victory that saw Weston get off to a commanding 16-4 start and never look back the Lady Wolves have now won a season best third straight, gained their first victory over a team with a winning record and moved two games above .500 for the first time all year.

After changing from her junior maid dress where she was honored before the contest in Homecoming ceremonies, Mary Catherine Hay, who finished with a team high 19 points, drained three of her four trey’s on the night in the first half to pace Weston to a commanding 34-16 lead. Emma Kate McBride and Briley Peterson also reached double figures with 16 and 15 respectively while Mallory Tolar and Lainee Trosclair add seven and six points each. Mary Beth Bond scored 3 and Lakerria Austin added a pair of free throws to round out the scoring.

Weston (10-8) 16 18 19 18 – 71
Forest (7-5) 4 12 16 10 – 42

WHS scoring: Hay 19, McBride 16, Peterson 15, Tolar 7, Trosclair 6, Bond 2, Austin 2
FHS scoring: Craten 16, Grimes 9, Mulkey 8, Ross 8, Sumrall 1

Weston 60 Atlanta 50 (Thursday, January 14th) In the first of back to back contests, Weston celebrated “Homecoming Eve” by turning in one of the their best balanced scoring performance of the year. All five of Weston’s top point scorer’s were in instrumental in getting the Lady Wolves off to a 21-12 first quarter advantage, led by six apiece from Emma Kate McBride and Briley Peterson.

They were two of the four who finished with double digits with 14 and 13 respectively combining with Lakerria Austin and Mary Catherine Hay, who would add 13 and 10 points in the victory. Mallory Tolar added seven points and Lainee Trosclair ended with three.

While McBride played a key role in the early going it was her play in the fourth that made the difference in the game. With Atlanta playing their best game of the year to date during their 1-6 season and trailing by only one entering the fourth quarter, McBride ruined any hopes of an upset by draining a pair of trey’s and adding a two pointer to help Weston take a nine point advantage over the final eight minutes. Princis Coff led Atlanta with a game high 26 points .

Weston (9-8) 21 12 8 19 -60
Atlanta (1-6) 12 18 10 10 – 50

WHS scoring: McBride 14, Peterson 13, Austin 13, Hay 10, Tolar 7, Trosclair 3
AHS scoring: Goff 26, Winslow 9, Sapp 6, Herbert 6, Stewart 3

In other area action, Jonesboro-Hodge lost to Lakeview 63-45 for their third straight defeat after beginning the year 6-1. Cedar Creek and Choudrant continued to impress with the Lady Cougars taking 46-28 and 59-41 district 2-1A victories over Oak Grove and Tensas and the Lady Aggies besting FCCS and Saline by 53-46 and 60-38 scores. Ruston split a pair of district 2-5A games by beating Pineville 61-56 and losing to Ouachita 73-54 that put the kibosh on a nine game winning streak.

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