Lady Flashes finish season with close loss

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018

RAYVILLE, La. — The St. Aloysius Lady Flashes’ season ended Tuesday when they narrowly lost to Park Place 50-47 in the first round of the MAIS District 3-AAA girls’ basketball tournament.

Ariel Knott scored 20 points to lead Park Place to victory in a game full of lead changes and momentum swings.

At the end of the first half, the Lady Flashes led by one point, and the game didn’t slow down in the second. The lead went back and forth, and after a pair of free throws by St. Al’s Kyla Goodlow, it was tied at 47 with 50 seconds to go.

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The Lady Crusaders knocked down a couple of free throws, and St. Al took a final shot attempt to tie the game. It was blocked and rebounded by Park Place.

St. Al only won one game in the regular season.

“They played the best game they’ve played all year, and I couldn’t be prouder,” St. Al coach Mary Miller Martin-Nez said. “They demonstrated hard work, they never gave up, they persevered, and I thought they did an awesome job tonight.”

Martin-Nez liked what she saw from her team on both sides of the court in the close loss.

“Their defense improved to hold them, and their shots fell, so I’m extremely proud of them,” Martin-Nez said. “Couldn’t ask for a better turnout for them tonight.”

Senior Grace Upshaw put together a dominant performance in her final game with St. Al, leading all scorers with 28 points. She had 11 rebounds and four steals.

Upshaw routinely would grab the defensive board and take the ball coast-to-coast for a layup, dicing her way through a Park Place defense that sometimes sentthree players to try and trap her. Upshaw also utilized her outside shot and hit three 3-pointers.

Martin-Nez also said Upshaw took on Park Place’s best player on defense and guarded her well. Upshaw’s all-around contribution was crucial for the Lady Flashes this season.

“She was by far our most valuable player, and she will definitely be missed next year,” Martin-Nez said.

Though the season ended with a heartbreaking loss in the district tournament, Martin-Nez was extremely proud of what her team showed throughout the season.

“This was my first year coaching, and I had an absolute blast,” Martin-Nez said. “I absolutely love my players, they play hard in every single game and gave me everything they had, and I look forward to next year and coming back.”

(B) Central Hinds 64, Porter’s Chapel 27

Davis McDade scored 17 points, Zach Talley had 14 and Jeffery Richburg added 13, as Central Hinds ended Porter’s Chapel Academy’s  season with a lopsided win in the first round of the District 3-AAA boys basketball tournament.

Central Hinds led by seven at the end of the first quarter, but outscored PCA 19-7 in the second to take control of the game. PCA did not score at all in the third period.

McDade and Richburg scored 13 of the Cougars’ 19 points in the second quarter.

Glenn Alan Kittrell led PCA with 13 points — he hit three 3-pointers — but no one else scored more than five.