Weston, Saline girls make early statements

The Weston vs Quitman girl’s basketball game was everything that was thought it would be from the outstanding play on the court to the electric atmosphere in the stands. When it was all over it was Weston who emerged as the front-runner in District 1B play. Meanwhile Saline continued their second half of the season surge to climb to the top of District 2C.

Weston 62 Quitman 54 (Friday): Emma Kate McBride and Lainee Trosclair calmly sank a pair of pressure-packed free throws in the final seconds to help Weston turn away a spirited Quitman rally attempt. The victory vaults the Lady Wolves to a 23-5 record overall and to the top of the district standings with a 2-0 record while Quitman falls to 17-8 and 0-2 in 2B play.
The atmosphere was electric, and the noise was deafening from the opening tip as the two neighboring rivals slugged it out in front of the standing-room-only crowd in Weston. The difference in the contest that more than lived up to the pre-game billing came when Briley Peterson scored 10 and Lexie Millien hit three trey’s to help Weston to a pivotal 23-5 second quarter advantage offsetting a point Quitman lead after one and giving Weston a 35-21 lead at the break.
“We started a little slow but the girls really turned it on in the second,” said WHS head coach Stacy Tucker. “It was a fun game as both teams played well and the crowd was really into it.”
Cali Deal scored 8 points and Anna Leach added one of her three 3-pointers in the third quarter as Quitman stormed back to outscore WHS 16-7 in the frame. QHS kept the pressure up in the fourth and pulled to within four but Emma Kate McBride and Lainee Trosclair calmly sank a pair of pressure-packed free throws in the final seconds to help Weston turn away the spirited rally attempt.
“Give Weston credit, they deserved to win this one. They are a really good team with some great players. I was especially impressed with the Peterson girl, she is turning out to be a very special player” said QHS head coach Kyle Leach, who refused to use the loss of two of his top players earlier in the week, one to illness and the other to injury, as an excuse for the loss. “Sure, it would have helped to have had Bethany (Leach) and Brayli (Stewart) but I am not going to say that them not being here is why we lost. Anna (Leach) filled in nicely and the team picked up the slack to give us a shot to win. Unfortunately, we just came up a little short but I am very proud of our girls for the way they battled.”
On the heels of a 31-point, 21-rebound night on Tuesday, once again Peterson continued her impressive play in district competition by scoring 22 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in this one. McBride also came up big with 18 points that included 4 of 6 shooting from behind the arc. Lexie Millien added nine and six boards, Jessica Newton scored 8, grabbed 6 rebounds, and blocked three shots, Anslee Aldy hit a three-pointer, one of eight the Lady Wolves made on the night Laine Trosclair chipped in with her clutch free throws.
Deal led Quitman with 19 points and 14 rebounds and 8th grader Anna Leach turned in her best performance of the season with a career-high 13 points and seven rebounds to go along with five steals. Emma Carter scored nine and had four steals while Summer Grillette added eight points and six boards. AJ Gray made three and Ansley Folks had two.

TEAM 1 2 3 4 TOTAL
Quitman 16 5 16 17 54
Weston 12 23 7 20 62
QHS scoring: Deal 19, Leach 13, Carter 9, Grillette 8, Gray 3, Folks 2
WHS scoring: Peterson 22, McBride 18, Millien 9, Newton 8, Aldy 3, Trosclair 2

Saline 44 Dodson 16 (Friday): First-quarter three-pointers by Alana and Alaya Gray paced the Lady Bobcats to a 10-0 first-quarter lead as Saline celebrated Homecoming by beating their district rival for the 16 straight times. The victory kept Saline, now 10-16 overall, atop the district 2C standing with a perfect 5-0 record while Dodson fell to 1-5 and 1-22. Another trey by Alaya and a basket each from Sydney Thomas and Kacidy Sims helped Saline take an 18-5 lead into the break. The Lady Bobcats’ point total doubled following six points by Alana and four more each from Sims and Alaya along with a basket from Thomas and Cenada Weathers. Reserves Rachel Leggett and Gabi Stewart put the finishing touches in place with a basket and three-pointer respectively. hit a three-pointer in the fourth.
The Gray twins led Saline in scoring with 11 each followed by six from Sims, five from Thomas, and four points from Weathers. Jayden Browning led Dodson with 5 points with Ja’Kiya Joiner adding four. Maddie Moore and Kelsey Desadier had two each and Alora Marker made a free throw for Dodson, who in the contest before against Central-Jonesville snapped their season-long 20-game losing streak.

TEAM 1 2 3 4 TOTAL
Saline 10 8 18 8 44
Dodson 0 5 5 6 16
Saline scoring: Alana Gray 11, Alaya Gray 11, Sims 6, Thomas 5, Weathers 4
Dodson scoring: Browning 5, Joiner 4, Moore 2, Desadier 2, Marker 1

Weston 87 Doyline 68 (Tuesday) Briley Peterson has had a lot of good games during her burgeoning career but none like this one. It was a night that she will long remember after scoring 31 points and snaring 20 rebounds, both new career highs to help lift streaking Weston to a new season-best point total.
The fifth win in a row and 10th in the last 11 games pushed the Lady Wolves overall record to a Jackson Parish best 23-5 and an early leg up in the district 1B standings. Doyline fell to 12-7 on the year, with two of the losses coming against Weston.
Five points by Lainee Trosclair followed closely by four points each from Ansley Aldy and Peterson and a three-pointer by Emma Kate McBride paced Weston to an 18-13 first-quarter advantage. With Peterson and Lexie Millien, on the strength of three treys, scoring nine points each, the lead ballooned to 44-29 at the half.
Both teams came out running in the second half to combine for 44 points in the third. Weston kept the torrid scoring pace up with 22 points in the final frame to equal their season-high total in points and best in regulation as the 2022-23 edition of Lady Wolves became the first in over 15 years to score over 85 twice in a season.
The impressive total came from making 33 of an incredible 82 shots that included 11 that were made from a season-high 40 attempts from behind the arc. Millien was the leading “rainmaker” with four “bombs’ that helped her to make 20 points, both new career highs. McBride, who finished with 11 points, and Peterson made three treys each with Trosclair, who scored 9 and added four assists and three steals, chipping in with one.
Jessica Newton also scored nine and grabbed 7 boards while also slapping away 3 shots to give her 88 blocks on the year, easily the Jackson Parish best and one of the better marks in north Louisiana. Aldy ended with six points and Nadia Siadek, added a free throw to go along with six of Weston’s 48 rebounds accumulated in the high-scoring affair.

TEAM 1 2 3 4 TOTAL
Weston 18 26 21 22 87
Doyline 13 16 23 16 68
WHS scoring: Peterson 31, Millien 20, McBride 11, Trosclair 9, Newton 9, Aldy 6, Siadek 1
DHS scoring: Snoclin 23, Washington 17, Harris 12, Martin 8, Handy 6

Castor 50 Quitman 43 (Tuesday) Her name was apropos of her performance. Summer Grillette was hot as the July sun in the district 2B opener but otherwise woeful team shooting and committing an unusual amount of turnovers was too much for the Lady Wolverines to overcome in the district 1B opener.
Grillette was sensational, scoring 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting from the field and grabbing 9 rebounds, both season-best marks. Adding to her impressive outing was the contribution of 4 steals. The rest of the team didn’t fare so well though. Other than Grillette’s total, QHS managed to connect on only 30% of shots from the field, which included a 1 of 7 performance from behind the arc, and 40% from the free throw line.

“We couldn’t throw it in the ocean,” bemoaned QHS head coach Kyle Leach. “It didn’t matter where we shot it from. We missed layups, and free throws, and made only one three-pointer.”

Neither team shot well in the first half saw Castor take a slim 18-17 lead into the break. In the second half the home-standing Lady Gators started finding the range from deep and after back-to-back 3 pointers went up 44-34 only to see Quitman rally to score seven straight to pull to within 44-41 with around 2:30 to go in the contest.

Then all momentum disappeared in the twist of an ankle.

Falling to the injury was Brayli Stewart, the team’s second-leading scorer and rebounder and who had contributed 8 points and 6 boards in this one. The loss was crippling as Quitman was already missing senior point guard Bethany Leach who was diagnosed with mononucleosis (mono) on Sunday.

“I am not making excuses. Castor has flown under the radar this year but they are a good team and well coached,” said Leach “They deserved to win but not having both Brayli and Bethany was a huge blow.”

Cali led Quitman in scoring with 16 points and shared the team lead with 9 boards while 8th grader, Anna Leach, subbing for her namesake, finished with five points and five rebounds. Emma Carter and AJ Gray added two points apiece.

The loss dropped Quitman’s record to 17-7 and broke a 16-game district winning streak that dates to the 2019-20 season. It also continues a three-game district skid to Castor, now 14-6 on the year, that resumes from 2018-19, the last time the two were in the same district.

TEAM 1 2 3 4 TOTAL
Quitman 6 11 13 17 43
Castor 6 12 18 14 50
QHS Scoring: Deal 16, Grillette 10, Stewart 8, Leach 5, Carter 2, Gray 2
CHS Scoring: n/a

Girls District Standings

District 3-2A District Overall
Lakeview 4-0 19-2
Winnfield 4-0 14-9
Mansfield 2-2 11-10
Red River 2-2 6-11
Many 1-4 8-16
JHHS 0-5 3-18

District 1B District Overall
Weston 2-0 23-5
Castor 2-0 15-6
Quitman 0-2 17-7
Doyline 0-2 12-8

District 2C District Overall
Saline 4-0 10-16
Calvin 5-1 11-14
Georgetown 3-2 11-13
Atlanta 2-3 4-22
Dodson 1-5 1-21
Central – J’ville 0-4 0-15

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