Central Catholic's Lexi Landry
(The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Central Catholic outlasts St. Frederick in OT 62-58
No. 8 Central Catholic and No. 9 St. Frederick waged a huge battle in the second half and overtime of their Division IV regional round contest in Morgan City Monday, but with players fouling out, Central Catholic had the advantage as it escaped with a 62-58 victory.
While the Lady Eagles (16-10) came away with the victory, things looked bleak late in the fourth quarter.
After St. Frederick (21-9), which trailed 16-0 after the first quarter and 28-15 at halftime, rallied to take a the lead at 44-43 on a free throw by Pashonray Johnson with 3:28 remaining, the visitors from Monroe extended their lead to as much as 48-43 on Johnson’s two-point basket with 2:38 remaining.
Trailing 51-49 with less than 30 seconds left, Central Catholic fouled St. Frederick twice in about a 10-second span, but St. Frederick missed four straight free throws.
The Lady Eagles got a break when eighth grader Laurielle Bias was fouled with 2.9 seconds remaining in the game. The guard sank both free throws to tie the game, and Johnson’s buzzer beating heave was off the mark to send the game to overtime.
As the game progressed, fouls began to take their toll on the teams, especially St. Frederick. The Warriors, who had just six players for the game, had its roster trimmed down to four players on the court after Paeshonce Johnson became the second player to foul out with 3:36 remaining in overtime.
Central Catholic, which already had lost guard Jade Oliney to fouls, lost two more shortly after Paeshonce Johnson fouled out as Bias and Kamille Lightfoot each picked up their fifth foul in less than a minute’s time.
Rachel Woods hit the first of two free-throws with 2:03 remaining after Lightfoot’s foul to give the Warriors a 54-53 lead.
However, the biggest blow of the night for St. Frederick came when Pashonray Johnson, their leading scorer and best player, fouled out with 1:18 remaining in overtime, limiting the Warriors now to just three players on the court with the game tied at 55.
Johnson had picked up three fouls in the first quarter and during the second half, the Lady Eagles were trying to draw her final foul to no avail.
Meanwhile she dominated the Lady Eagles’ defense as she maneuvered past Central Catholic en route to 35 points.
“It was a wild ride,” Central Catholic coach C.L. Grogan said. “We knew coming into the game what type of player Ms. Johnson was for St. Frederick. Our whole thing was defensively, because we play so many young guards in our lineup was just not letting her do what she wanted to do the majority of the night. The first quarter went good. We were able to hold her to zero points in the first quarter, and then she started getting into a groove.
“We got in some foul trouble heading into the second half, and some of my younger guards were a little bit overwhelmed with the task,” Grogan added. “We had to switch some assignments around. We had to rotate a lot of girls around, a lot of girls in an out throughout the game.”
Central Catholic’s Terre’Yan Johnson also had a solid night in the scoring column with 30 points.
“Yani played big for us like she always does. … She knows she’s going to face double teams and triple teams all night, and she battles through it,” Grogan said. “She got the ball inside tonight and she found the open girl.”
After Pashonray Johnson fouled out, Terre‘Yan Johnson, who faced multiple defenders all night, made two baskets to give the Lady Eagles a 59-55 lead.
The Warriors weren’t done, though, as Tamara Brown made a three-pointer with about 35 seconds remaining to cut their deficit to 59-58, but Caitlyn Picou made the second of two free-throw attempts with 18.2 seconds left, and Terre’Yan Johnson hit two free throws with 2.2 seconds left for the 62-58 final.
In addition to Johnson, other Central Catholic scorers were as follows: Bias, 13; Oliney and Lexi Landry, six each; Picou, three; and Ryleigh Jeau Theriot and Brie Johnson, two each.
“We knocked down some big shots early, Lexi Landry hit some big shots for us early also, two big threes for us,” Grogan said. “Laurielle played big for us all night. … Besides that, we played great team defense as long as we could.”
Other St. Frederick scorers were as follows: Brown, nine; Paeshonce Johnson, seven; Woods, five; and Brownwen Maddox, two.
Central Catholic will return to action Thursday when it travels to face No. 1 Ouachita Christian in a 6 p.m. contest in Monroe. Ouachita Christian, which is undefeated this season at 33-0, defeated No. 16 Sacred Heart 70-19 last week.