Notre Dame's Lady Pios set for showdown with Abbeville's Lady Cats
CROWLEY – At this time of the season, every game is a big one for Nolan Theriot and his Notre Dame Lady Pios.
But they don’t get much bigger than the Lady Pios’ home contest against Abbeville this evening at A.B. Dore gym.
The Lady Pios (24-3), ranked No. 3 in the recent LSWA Class AAA prep polls, will entertain the No. 13 Lady Wildcats at 6 o’clock.
“I think if we have this conversation the day before the next three games, it will be the same talk,” said Theriot, whose team sits atop the District 5-AAA standings at 6-1. “To reach our goals, we have to win out, so each game we play is going to be a big one.
“We have that bull’s eye on our back. With all the wins that we have, it could make a big difference in the power rankings. If any of these three teams (Abbeville, North Vermilion, Kaplan) can get a win over us, it will really propel them to a higher seed so we’re really expecting to get a great effort from every team that we play.”
Abbeville (15-7, 5-2) already picked up some points in the power rankings on Jan. 14 when they knocked off Notre Dame, 52-49, on the Lady Cats’ home court. That gave the Lady Pios their lone loss in district play.
In fact, in their last three meetings dating back to last year, the game has come down to one possession.
“The last three times that we have played, it has come down to the wire,” said Theriot. “And the last three times we’ve played them, we lost twice there. Our only victory has been at home so we feel pretty good about that.”
In their last meeting, Notre Dame led for the majority of the first half before the Lady Cats went on a 14-7 run in the third quarter to seize the momentum.
“It seems like each time we’ve played them, we’ve had to come from behind,” said Theriot. “We always had one quarter where we just didn’t quite have a good offensive output or we didn’t hold them down enough defensively.
“Last time we played them, we didn’t have a great third quarter. And it wasn’t due to lack of effort, it was more of a scheme thing. Our transition has been a key to our success and them coming out in a 1-3-1 defense in the half court kind of stymied us a little bit. We were able to push the ball up the court, but we weren’t able to get right into our attack mode.”
The problems that the 1-3-1 defense posed for the Lady Pios in the first game shouldn’t be a factor this time around.
“We’ve kind of addressed that and I’m actually really glad that occurred,” said Theriot. “That was something that we didn’t have in the arsenal so to speak. We looked at it and tried to fix it and the girls really responded well to it. There’s nothing that they can do now that we haven’t seen yet.”
In other prep action, Iota’s Lady Bulldogs will play host to Lake Arthur in a key District 5-AA matchup.
Iota (23-6, 8-1) dropped its first league contest of the season (a 58-44 home loss to Oakdale) last Tuesday. However, the Lady Dogs responded with a 46-28 victory over Kinder on Friday.
The last time Iota and Lake Arthur met, the Lady Dogs slipped away with a 48-42 road victory.
Other matchups slated for tonight include Crowley High at Westlake and Midland at Hathaway.
Crowley High’s Ladies (16-9, 4-3) will be looking to climb back into the District 5-AAA race against the Lady Rams, who are currently tied for the league lead with Northwest at 6-1.
The Ladies are coming off a 47-28 victory over Church Point while Westlake enters off a 75-59 loss at Northwest.
On the boys’ side, Crowley’s Gents (16-7, 5-0) are hoping to extend their District 4-AAA win streak to six games. The Gents are coming off a 97-25 thrashing of Church Point while Westlake (5-16, 1-3) enters on a two-game slide after falling to Iowa and Eunice last week.
Over in Hathaway, the Midland Rebels will also be attempting to keep an unblemished record in league play.
The Rebels control District 7-B with a 5-0 record and lead the race by one game over Bell City (4-1).
The Rebels slipped away with a 51-43 victory over Hathaway at home on Jan. 14.
In the girls’ contest, Midland will be looking to avenge a 66-41 loss to the Lady Hornets just two weeks ago.
The Lady Rebels enter the contest with an overall record of 7-19 and a 2-3 mark in league play.