Mission accomplished: Southern Lab avenges loss, wins Division IV select girls title

Mission accomplished: Southern Lab avenges loss, wins Division IV select girls title
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Southern Lab could not hide from a humbling loss in the LHSAA’s Division IV select title game to Northwood-Lena a year ago. SLHS coach Quinna Chaney made sure of that by putting the bracket and final score in the Kittens’ locker room.

Chaney made it clear — a win on the final day of the season at the LHSAA Girls State Basketball tournament in Hammond was the goal.

And the top-seeded Kittens delivered in impressive fashion, leading to buzzer to buzzer in a 56-41 victory over No. 2 Northwood at SLU’s University Center.

“You already know the game right here was personal,” said Chaney, a former Southern Lab and LSU standout. “I made the comment last year that we gave it to them. And I stand by that.

“This year we wanted to make sure that we would come away with it. And we did, 56-51. We’re the state champs … any other questions?”

Chaney and her players came into postgame interviews wearing sunglasses and bright smiles, a contrast to 2023 when SLHS led by 20, only to see Northwood rally for an overtime win.

With title-game MVP Asia Patin leading the way, Southern Lab (27-7) nothing was left to chance. There was no 20-point lead this time, but it did not matter. The Kittens built a double-digit lead with the right mix of hard-nosed defense and offense. There was a cheer of “MVP, MVP” from the SLHS crowd when Patin scored on her second fastbreak run out during the final two minutes.

There was a courtside moment for Chaney, herself a past title-game MVP for the SLHS, and Patin. It is the second Division IV title in two years for the Kittens.

The 5-foot-4 Patin had 18 points, 13 rebounds and two steals to lead the Kittens. Gabriell Hill and Kinsley James had 13 points each. James also had 10 rebounds. Rhianna Battes had a game-high 22 for Northwood.

It is the second Division IV title in three years for Southern Lab. Northwood (18-13) saw its string of two LHSAA titles (Division IV/Class 1A) end.

“Last year you all saw me crying and saw me sad,” Patin said. “I told my team we were not going to cry this year. We were going to win this game no matter what it takes.”

The score was tied once in the first quarter at 4-4. Two baskets and a free throw by James along with a Patin layoff off an assist by Kori Wesley sent Southern Lab into the second quarter with a 16-8 lead. The Kittens led by as much as 12 in the second period before five points by Battles made it 27-20 at halftime.

Patin scored five points in the third quarter and James added four. Meanwhile, Wesley helped lead the Southern Lab’s defense on Northwood’s Battles, along with Patin. A James putback helped SLHS take a 40-28 lead into the final quarter.

Hill scored eight fourth-quarter points, including the first three basketball in the lane to open the fourth quarter.

“I can honestly say that my girls went out there and gave 100 %,” Northwood coach Lashonda Smith-Cooper said. “We just came up short. I think the (lack of) experience got us, but we kept playing until the clock said 0.0. What more can a coach ask for?”

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About Marc Lemoine 1470 Articles
Marc is an Economist and a well experienced weightlifter who has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on sports, finance and economy.

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