Notre Dame Lady Pios battle Kaplan for league title

CROWLEY – Notre Dame’s Nolan Theriot has accomplished many things in his five-year coaching career with the Lady Pios.

But one thing he hasn’t been able to do lead his team to a district title.

All that can change Tuesday evening when his Lady Pios travel to Kaplan for a 6 o’clock showdown with the Lady Pirates.

Although a loss would not necessarily end his squad’s hopes of a district title, a victory would give the Lady Pios the elusive league crown they’ve been hoping for.

“I know the girls would love to have a district title, but we’ve kind of tried to downplay the whole thing,” said Theriot, whose squad has a one-game lead over Kaplan with two games remaining in league play. “The big picture that we’re really concerned about is the postseason. But we know that securing a title, now more than ever because of the effect it has on the seeding, it’s sweeter to get it for that than just to win it.”

Earning that first district title in recent history will not come easily though.

Kaplan (20-6, 6-2) boasts one of the top guards in the state in South Carolina commitment Tina Roy.

Roy has been a driving force in Kaplan’s success during her four-year career and she reached a milestone last week, going over the 2,500 point mark in a 43-24 victory over Erath. In that game she scored 25 points.

“As much as Kaplan is a one-man show, they’re still getting it done; they’re still winning ball games,” said Theriot. “The rest of that team knows their roles and it makes it a battle going out there.”

All in all, the game plan is not to stop Roy, but to slow her down, a task that has been nearly impossible for most teams this year.

Roy scored 39 points in a 66-55 loss to Notre Dame in the Delcambre tournament earlier in the season. She then scored 26 points in a 59-39 loss to the Lady Pios on Jan. 21 in the first round of district play.

“Tina is going to get her points,” said Theriot. “Last year when they came to us, we held her to seven points. That’s just not going to happen (this time). The chances of her being held in the teens is probably slim to none.

“The big thing for us is to make sure the other girls aren’t getting easy buckets. We have to make them earn everything that they get, keep them off the free throw line and offensively for us, we need to take good quality shots.

“There’s no reason for me to believe, unless we go out there and lay an egg, that we’re not going to put points up. We’re still going to run the floor; we’re still going to try to score in transition like we normally do. There’s nothing new that we’re going to do. We’re just going to keep trying to execute the things that we’ve been doing all year and hopefully we continue to get better.”

In other prep action this evening, Crowley High will travel to Prairie Rhonde to take on Northwest in a boy’s and girls’ doubleheader while Midland plays host to Bell City. Iota travels to Pine Prairie and the Northside Christian Lady Warriors will entertain Delcambre.

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