Notre Dame Lady Pios top Abbeville in 5-AAA showdown

CROWLEY – The Notre Dame Lady Pios may have finally gotten over the hump.

Relegated to runnersup status in league play the last few years, the Lady Pios took a huge step toward a 5-AAA title Tuesday with an impressive 64-50 victory over defending and preseason favorite Abbeville.

The victory, which avenged a 52-49 loss to Abbeville three weeks ago, lifted the Lady Pios to 25-3 overall and 7-1 in league play.

“This was a big victory for us,” said ND coach Nolan Theriot. It was big because we basically had to win out to win the district title. It was huge to kind of keep pace and stay ahead of everybody else.”

Notre Dame currently leads the 5-AAA race at 7-1 while Kaplan is second at 6-2. Abbeville fell into third place at 5-3.

One of the keys to Notre Dame’s victory Tuesday was the Lady Pios’ ability to knock down the outside shot. With Abbeville having a tremendous size advantage inside, the Lady Pios took advantage of open looks and drained a season-high six 3-pointers as well as numerous mid-range jumpers.

In the first quarter, Notre Dame connected on four 3-pointers and went on a 16-2 run in the first six minutes.

“We have worked on shooting more this year than any other year that I have been here,” said Theriot. “We’ve spent a lot of time shooting the three. And we knew going in that we weren’t going to be able to just drive in and get a layup against those big girls. We knew we had to shoot it, whether it was a three or a mid-range jumper. And we knocked them down.”

The Lady Pios finished the first quarter with an 18-7 advantage and they took a 26-17 lead at the break despite having leading scorer Taylor Simon sidelined for much of the second frame due to foul trouble.

“I thought the key was us jumping on them early,” said Theriot. “We had to endure the second quarter without Taylor so having a lead going into the second half was huge.”

Abbeville made a run in the third quarter and cut the lead to three (26-23) after back-to-back 3-pointers to start the frame.

But Notre Dame extended its lead to 33-27 on a 3-pointer from Mallory Chiasson with just over four minutes remaining in the third. The Lady Pios then went on a 10-0 run to end the frame with a 43-27 advantage.

“We really came out and played well in the third quarter,” said Theriot. “I told them going in that we had to do what we had to do to have the lead going into the fourth quarter so we can dictate what happens. They responded and hit some huge buckets.”

Abbeville managed to outscore Notre Dame 23-21 in the final 16 minutes, but the early lead was too much to overcome for the Lady Cats.

Notre Dame’s victory didn’t come without a price, however. Freshman guard Sam Lyons went down with a dislocated foot in the second quarter and is likely lost for the season.

Simon was also injured in the third quarter after being hit in the head on an attempted blocked shot but returned before the end of the frame.

“It was a very physical game,” said Theriot of the contest that included a combined 52 fouls and 71 free throw attempts.

Chiasson, who went 5-for-6 from the charity stripe and connected on two 3-pointers, and Marie Ledet led the Lady Pios with 13 points each.

Simon and Kylie Pannell also hit double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Alex Miller followed close behind with nine points while Peyton Miller, Mary Charles and Lexie Trosclair each scored two points.

Abbeville was led by Rechelle Bessard and Dyantae Perkins with 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Abbeville avoided a sweep by claiming a 62-49 victory in the boys’ game.

Notre Dame fell to 12-12 overall and 3-3 in league play with the loss. Abbeville improved to 14-10 and 6-0.

Notre Dame’s B.J. Vidrine drained a 3-pointer to start the contest but Abbeville went on a 16-5 run after that to take a 16-8 advantage.

Abbeville increased its advantage to 38-20 at the break behind seven second quarter points from Dajuan Smith.

Vidrine scored nine of his team-high 17 points in the second half as Notre Dame outscored Abbeville 29-23 in the final 16 minutes.

Vidrine was followed by Ricky Stoma with 11 points and Kane Thibodeaux with eight.

Also contributing for the Pios were Jacob Rogers with six points; Stu Cook, five and Drew Trahan, two.

Tiremone Williams paced the Cats with 17 points and Delontra Fields scored 16.

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