Lady Pios claim Catholic High tourney title
By Chris Quebedeaux
NEW IBERIA – The transition from volleyball to basketball is usually a difficult one.
But Notre Dame’s Taylor Simon, one of three Notre Dame starters who have just returned to the court following a lengthy volleyball season, isn’t having much of a problem adjusting.
The sophomore guard scored 17 points and logged eight steals and seven rebounds Wednesday to help lead the Lady Pios to a 52-42 victory over Abbeville in the finals of the Catholic High of New Iberia tournament.
The victory sent the Lady Pios to 4-2 on the season heading into Tuesday’s home showdown with Jennings.
“Taylor was the sixth man off the bench last year so this is her first year starting,” said Notre Dame coach Nolan Theriot. “She has really taken the initiative and just really gone out there and taken charge. She’s got a lot of leadership qualities and she’s vocal when she needs to be.”
Celia Charles was the only other Lady Pio to score in double figures in the title game. She had 12 points and Alex Boulet scored six to go along with six steals.
“Taylor, Celia and Alex, I thought, had a tremendous tournament both offensively and defensively,” said Theriot. “Working well together, those three on the floor, they know where they are going. They understand when someone is about to get a steal, we’re getting up the court and we’re getting looks a lot more than we have in the past. They are very quick.”
The Lady Pios’ quickness helped in what turned out to be a very physical game. Abbeville committed 25 fouls in the game, sending the Lady Pios to the free throw line 38 times.
Notre Dame’s struggles from the charity stripe allowed the Lady Wildcats to stay within striking distance though. The Lady Pios connected on just 18 of their 38 free throw attempts.
“Obviously from the stats, you can see that we shot the ball horrendously from free throw line,” said Theriot. “We missed 20 free throws. If we even shoot 50 percent of that, we win by 20. We got the things that we wanted, we just didn’t finish it. We got the layups that we needed, we got fouled and got to the line, we just didn’t put it in. I think it’s not even close if we do what we’re supposed to do.”
After taking an 18-11 advantage in the first quarter, Simon and Charles combined for 15 points to help push the Lady Pios out to a 41-30 lead at the break.
The pace slowed in the second half with each team scoring just three points in the third quarter. The two teams combined for just 23 points in the final 16 minutes.
“The fouls that were called and the ones that weren’t really slowed the pace late in the game,” said Theriot of the second half that saw Abbeville