Crowley Ladies stun No. 11 Notre Dame

CROWLEY – It wasn’t their prettiest victory of the season, but it was definitely their biggest.

The Crowley Ladies rallied from an eight-point third quarter deficit and outscored Notre Dame 8-4 in the fourth quarter to pull off a dramatic 36-34 victory over Class 3A’s No. 11 ranked Lady Pios.

The victory sent the Ladies to 12-8 overall and 2-2 in District 4-3A play.

“This was a huge victory for us,” said CHS coach Alton Allen following the contest. “We knew the importance of this game. A win would put us right back in the district race.

“I told the girls that they just had to have the confidence that they could go out there and beat them and I think they took that to heart. They came out, never lost their composure and battled the whole night”

For Notre Dame, it was their first loss in league play, dropping them to 3-1 and 15-10 overall.

“You have to give Crowley credit,” said Notre Dame coach Nolan Theriot. “They came out and played hard. They did the things that they needed to do.

“We just could not put the ball in the hole. As poorly and disorganized as we looked, we had chances to win the game and we just couldn’t get it done.”

Although neither team really established itself and pulled away, Notre Dame did manage to maintain a lead for the better part of three and a half quarters of play.

In fact, the CHS Ladies never led until Mercedes Rogers hit a driving layup between two defenders with 2:04 remaining to go up by one (34-33). Isis Broussard then went to the free throw line and sank two free throws to push the lead to 36-33.

From there, it was a mad scramble.

In the final minute of the game, Crowley committed three turnovers and, with a chance to extend the lead, they missed the front end of a one-and-one.

Notre Dame committed two turnovers, made just one of their three free throw attempts, missed four shots inside the paint and had a potential game-winning 3-pointer by Mary Charles rim out at the buzzer.

“It was a crazy final minute and a half,” said Allen. “We got lucky on that final 3-pointer that they took because she had an open look. We kind of lost where we were in our coverage.

“We got some big rebounds there at the end, but then we turned the ball over. We had opportunities to put the game away. But I guess we did enough.”

In all, neither team was at their best and it was evident as the game went on. Both missed several scoring opportunities on blown layups, both had 26 turnovers and neither team shot the ball well from the free throw line (CHS was 5-for-19 and ND was 10-for-26).

“We turned the ball over, but we also caused a lot of turnovers and that helped,” said Allen. “And we got a tremendous effort from our reserves tonight and that was big.”

That effort was much needed after Rogers spent most of the second half on the bench due to foul trouble and starting guard Tiara Dugar fouled out just as the third quarter began.

Teara Breaux and Beverly Broussard filled in and gave the Ladies a spark.

“Teara came in and got some big rebounds and Beverly played big and gave us six points when we needed it,” said Allen. “They played well and did the things they needed to do to help us come away with a victory.”

Defensively, the Ladies were up to the challenge as well. They held Notre Dame to just 12 second-half points which is the Lady Pios’ lowest second-half output this season.

“We did not execute well tonight,” said Theriot. “We saw a 1-3-1 defense, the same defense that we saw against Westlake on Tuesday, and we didn’t handle it well.

“We took a lot of ill-advised shots. We took shots that had no chance of going in. We just weren’t patient and we were throwing up shots that we had no chance of making and to me, that’s just like a turnover.”

Offensively, Rogers led the Ladies with 15 points despite playing sparingly in the second half. Broussard followed with nine points; Broussard added six; Tiara Dugar scored four and Sara Woodard finished with two.

The Lady Pios were paced by Marie Ledet wit 11 points. Gabbie Romero and Charles each had five.

Katherine Kirsch pitched in four points, Alex Miller had three and Annie Sarver, Sam Lyons and Mallory Chiasson each had two.

The CHS Ladies will return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Westlake to take on the Lady Rams in another league contest. The game is slated for 6 p.m.

The Lady Pios will also be in action as they play host to South Beauregard.

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