CCHS Lady Eagles return to semifinals
Central Catholic advanced to its second straight Class 1A semifinal with a 64-45 victory against Tensas in Class 1A quarterfinal action in Morgan City Thursday. The Lady Eagles also welcomed back guard Meo Knight, right, who had been sidelined after injuring herself in the Lady Eagles’ first-round win a week prior. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Central Catholic’s Meo Knight and Randi Brown have been key weapons for the Lady Eagles during their careers who make flashy plays and put up double digit points.
And while the Lady Eagles’ two guards made their mark on the court, they were also marksman-like from the free throw line, connecting on a combined 22 of 24 attempts en route to leading the No. 2 seed Lady Eagles to a 64-45 victory against No. 7 seed Tensas (26-6) Thursday and advancing to their second consecutive Girls’ Top 28 Basketball.
As a team, Central Catholic (27-3) connected on 24 of 28 free throws, with Brown knocking down 12 of 13 attempts and Knight, 10 of 11.
Central Catholic coach Jamarr Garrett said it felt good to advance back to the semifinals but said getting there isn’t good enough.
“We want to take it a step further than what it was last year,” Garrett said, referencing the Lady Eagles semifinal loss to West St. John.
While he hoped for a rematch with No. 6 West St. John, the Lady Eagles will not get it as the Lady Rams fell at No. 3 Merryville, 64-57, in other Class 1A quarterfinal round action Thursday. Both teams will meet Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. at McNeese State’s Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles.
In Thursday’s contest, the Lady Eagles welcomed back Knight, an Alabama signee, who scored 19 points and also had five blocks, two steals, three assists and nine rebounds even though she and Garrett said she was not at full strength.
She returned to the court a week after injuring herself late in the first half against Logansport and sat out the regional round contest against St. Mary on Monday.
Knight called the last week “kind of crazy” as she said she spent it getting tests run to see if she would be able to get back on the court this year.
She said it’s a “great feeling” to get a second chance back on the court and in the semifinals.
“It makes me feel like it’s meant to be,” she said. “Getting a second chance at this means it’s possible for us to go all the way through this time.”
Because she was trying to prevent further injury and save herself for the semifinals and possibly finals by not driving to the goal, Knight adjusted her game.
“I understood that free throws and jump shots would play a big part in my scoring for the team,” she said.
Garrett said having Knight on the court to handle the ball made a big difference.
Brown led the Lady Eagles with 29 points and also contributed seven assists, seven rebounds, four steals and one block.
Central Catholic jumped on top Tensas early, taking a 17-4 lead after the first quarter.
While Central Catholic held a 26-16 lead at halftime, the Lady Eagles were held without a single field goal in the second quarter as all their points came from the free throw line.
Central Catholic responded in the third quarter with an 18-10 scoring advantage and outscored Tensas 20-17 in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
Other top contributors for the Lady Eagles included Megan Landry, eight points, one steal and five rebounds; and Gee Garrett, six points, one steal, two assists and seven rebounds.
Cheyenne South led Tensas with 20 points, while Davicka James had six.
While Central Catholic got to the free throw line often, Tensas spent little time there as they were just four of 10 from the charity stripe.