Upset special: Fifth-seeded Woodlawn upsets Huntington in LHSAA girls tourney debut

Upset special: Fifth-seeded Woodlawn upsets Huntington in LHSAA girls tourney debut
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How do you upset a No. 1 team on Louisiana’s biggest stage?

Defensive intensity, rebounding free throw shooting and not playing like the underdog did it for Woodlawn in a 71-58 victory over Huntington of Shreveport in a Division I select semifinal.

“Sometimes when you play teams that pressure … they don’t like the pressure,” Woodlawn coach Alicia Dedeaux said. “You have to return the favor and see how they respond. They (Woodlawn players) truly took care of business. When it counted, my girls got the job done.”

The fifth-seeded Panthers (25-9) did just that in their LHSAA Girls State Basketball tournament debut Thursday by scoring 19 points off turnovers and making 30 of 35 free with guard Amijah Price leading the way with a game-high 33 points and 10 rebounds. Price made all 20 of her free throws.

Mariah Scott added 13 points and Mya Montgomery finished with 12 for the winners, who outrebounded Huntington 48-21. Carley Hamilton led Huntington (26-2) with 19 points, with Kyndal Graham (18) and Jaila Marshall (12) also finishing in double figures. With the win, Woodlawn faces the winner of the John Curtis-Liberty winner at noon Saturday at SLU’s University Center.

“We did not play to our normal standards today,” Huntington coach Brian Shyne said. “We’re going to take this loss and learn from it and be better next year.

“They (Woodlawn) did tremendous from the free throw line – 30 for 35. They shot 35 free throws and we shot 10. We relied on the 3-ball a lot and when they’re not falling, they’re not falling. The biggest thing was rebounding … we got outrebounded.”

Woodlawn trailed 7-2 early in the first quarter. But WHS ended the quarter on a 13-4 run making multiple baskets on plays in the open court after Huntington missed shots or turnovers. Price and Scott made four free throws each.

The Panthers tied it at 11-11 on a fastbreak basket by Scott at the 2:14 mark. Scott and Price added two free throws apiece to give WHS a 15-11 lead going into the second quarter.

Woodlawn led by as much as eight points early in the second quarter. Hamilton scored nine second-quarter points and ignited a 16-0 Huntington surge. The Raiders led 33-24 at halftime and appeared primed to run away with the game.

But that did not happen. Not with Woodlawn’s mindset..

“That third quarter … that was the difference,” Price said. “At halftime we talked about it … what we were supposed to do. We kept fighting.”

The Panthers methodically rallied A free throw by Montgomery with 2:05 left in the third quarter tied it at 41-41. The score was tied once more before Price hit a 3-pointer that gave Woodlawn a 45-42 lead. The Panthers never trailed again and outscored Huntington 26-10 in the final quarter.

For us, it was we overlooked them,” Huntington’s Marshall said, “We came out thinking that we were better , we got skill set and we got the best four guards in the state. We did not play hard enough. They wanted it more than we did.”

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About Marc Lemoine 1445 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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