Two late threes lift Louisiana girls in season opener
Louisiana forward Allison Lawson launches a shot during a big victory over Winfield on Monday, Dec. 2.
If the Louisiana Lady Bulldogs season continues to go like the first-game, a 43-40 victory over Winfield on Monday, Dec. 2, the fans may need something for their nerves.
Down one point with 1:11 to go in the game, sophomore guard Taylor Cunningham hit one of two free throws to tie it at 36-36.
Winfield came right back down the floor and hit a three-pointer and then added a free throw to take a 40-36 lead with 45 seconds to go.
It looked grim for Louisiana but then the Bulldogs rolled out a new secret weapon in the form of sophomore guard Macie Crane.
With 28 seconds to go, Crane took a wide-open three pointer from the left wing and swished it to cut the lead to 40-39.
On the ensuing inbounds play, Louisiana senior forward Batrice Blackwell stole the ball and was immediately fouled. Blackwell hit a free throw and it was tied, 40-40 with 20 seconds left.
Winfield brought the ball in for a final shot, but the Louisiana press forced a turnover.
The Lady Bulldogs quickly brought the ball down the floor and found Crane wide open again from the same spot.
With eight ticks left on the clock, Crane drained another three-pointer and iced the game, 43-40.
Louisiana Head Coach Craig Pedersen was pleased with Crane’s clutch shooting, the Lady Bulldogs defense and more.
“Batrice Blackwell carried us for most of the game and really stepped up when we were struggling on the offensive end,” Pedersen said.
“Defensively, we played a solid game. We created numerous turnovers and our presses hurt them early.
“We got into foul trouble and we had to take the pressure off for a while. When we went back to it, we were able to force a turnover that led to the game winning shot.
“Offensively, we are a work in progress. We will get better on the offensive end of the court as the year goes on.
“We also hurt ourselves at the free throw line tonight (10 of 23). We need to shoot them better.”
Batrice Blackwell led Louisiana with 17 points and sophomore forward Denise Blackwell had 10.
Crane had her big six points and Cunningham had five.
Sophomore guard Morgan Murry had two points, as did sophomore forward Allison Lawson. Senior guard Caitlin Bolton had one point.
The Lady Bulldogs junior varsity and varsity were scheduled to play at home starting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3 against the Griggsville-Perry Lady Tornadoes.
The varsity is also scheduled to play at 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9 in the Monroe City Tournament against the Marion County Lady Mustangs.
If Louisiana loses in the first round, the team will play in the consolation bracket at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 11 against the loser of the Marceline-Mark Twain game.
If the Lady Bulldogs beat Marion County, they will advance to the second round in the championship bracket at 7 p.m. on Dec. 11 against Marceline or Mark Twain.