Late surge lifts CHS Ladies past Jennings

CROWLEY – The Crowley High Ladies got a wakeup call just in time Friday.

It came midway through the third quarter - not a minute too soon - when the Ladies found themselves trailing the Jennings Lady Bulldogs, 28-12, in their District 4-3A game at the CHS gym.

“It looked like we were sleeping in the first half,” said CHS coach Alton Allen, whose squad went on a 19-2 run in the final four minutes of the third period and outscored the Lady Dogs 18-7 in the fourth to rally for a 49-37 victory.

“We just couldn’t get anything going for three and a half quarters. Thankfully, we finally got going late in the third quarter.”

The victory was an important one for the Ladies, lifting them to 14-10 overall and 4-4 in league play.

The spark that ignited the Ladies was provided by Mercedes Rogers, who had been held scoreless in the first half. The senior forward poured in 14 points in the third quarter, including seven straight in the final 41 seconds, as the Ladies took their first lead of the game at 31-30.

Rogers then added eight more points in the final frame to finish the night with a game-high 22 points. She also pulled down 17 rebounds and had five blocks and three steals.

“Mercedes made up her mind that she was going to take over and that’s what she did late in the third quarter,” said Allen of Rogers. “She put the team on her shoulders and did what a true leader should do.”

The Ladies’ defense also played a key role in the victory.

After allowing Jennings 16 points in the first half, the Ladies put the clamps on the visitors’ star guard, Jayln Johnson, in the final 12 minutes of play.

Johnson scored 15 points in the first three and a half quarters, but she was held to just six the rest of the way when Crowley made its late run. She finished with 21 points.

“They were going through No. 3 (Johnson) and it was all or nothing with her,” said Allen. “We kind of shut the other girls down and that was big.

“But with Jayln, the whole thing was to play close enough to defend her, but not too close because she would blow past us. We were able to keep her in front of us for the most part and we did a pretty good job of making it tough for them to get her the basketball.”

Johnson scored eight of Jennings’ 16 first-half points and started the third quarter with a quick 3-pointer followed by a layup off a steal that gave the Lady Dogs a 21-8 lead. A 3-pointer by Jules Crochet and another steal and layup by Johnson pushed the lead to 28-12 with 4:03 remaining in the period.

That’s when Rogers took over and the rally began.

The 19-2 run to end the third quarter was capped by a putback by Rogers at the buzzer to give the Ladies a 31-30 advantage.

The Ladies extended their lead to 35-30 early in the fourth quarter after back-to-back baskets by Isis Broussard and Rogers but Jennings answered with a layup from Sydni Duplican to get within three (35-32).

That was as close as the Lady Dogs would get.

Broussard came down and drilled a 3-pointer and then blocked a shot that led to a layup by Rogers in transition to push the lead to 10 (42-32).

The Ladies went on to outscore the Lady Dogs 7-5 in the final two minutes to seal the victory.

Broussard and Tiara Dugar each scored five points in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 14 and eight points, respectively.

Beverly Broussard and Sara Woodard each added two points and Alanna Plummer scored one.

“Everybody who played tonight contributed in one way or another,” said Allen. “You know, we were down by 16 with four minutes to go in the third quarter. We could have easily folded up the tent but we kept chipping away and we didn’t quit.”

The victory puts Crowley in a 4-way tie for second place in the league standings along with Notre Dame, Jennings and South Beauregard, all at 4-4.

Westlake is a lone at the top of the district with a 7-1 record after defeating Notre Dame Friday.

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