LIVINGSTON – Doyle girls basketball coach Sam White admits sometimes her answers to postgame questions are starting to sound the same.
Doyle, the No. 1 seed in Class 2A, used its pressure defense to help build a big lead at halftime and cruise to a 76-33 win over No. 16 Avoyelles in a regional playoff game Monday at Doyle .
“As long as we’re winning and doing well, then I don’t mind sounding like a broken record,” said White, whose team will face the winner of Tuesday’s game between No. 8 Jonesboro-Hodge and No. 9 Rayville in the quarterfinals.
“We obviously talk about starting fast every time and jumping on whoever it is we play and just making sure we play at the pace we want to play from the tip off,” White continued. “That’s just something that we repeat over and over again until it’s pretty much drilled in their head and they don’t know any different. They did a really good job tonight of being excited and coming out excited and ready to play.”
It didn’t take long for the Lady Tigers to settle in as they turned up the pressure, especially along the baseline, turning a flurry of quick turnovers into a 9-0 lead with 6:40 to play in the first quarter.
Alysscia Franciso scored Avoyelles’ first basket, but Doyle’s KK Savant hit a trey, keying a run that put the Lady Tigers ahead 26-6.
Avoyelles got as close as 28-9, but Presleigh Scott and Elise Jones hit 3-pointers during a 10-0 run to close out the first quarter, putting Doyle ahead 38-9.
“Coach Sam always says just go out there, fight, give it your all,” said Scott, who scored 20 of her 27 points in the first quarter. “Of course we want to finish in the first quarter … that’s awesome. We’re just really working hard trying to get … back-to-back. We are fighting to get another state championship. I know with a lot of hard work and our team, we can definitely achieve that.”
Doyle didn’t let up in the second quarter, converting turnovers into baskets as Jones and Kylee Savant hit consecutive 3-pointers during a run which extended the lead to 56-11.
White began subbing, with Scott, Jones and KK Savant coming out of the game before Doyle went into halftime ahead 62-15.
Jones scored five straight points to open the third quarter before White went back to her bench, and Kylee Savant’s three-point play extended the lead to 70-15.
Jones, who finished with 22 points, said White’s message to the team at halftime wasn’t complicated.
“Just keep doing what we do, which is pushing the ball up the court, pressure defense,” Jones said. “Just never let up. Just because we’re up by a lot doesn’t mean we still (don’t) want to play our style of basketball.”
Avoyelles cut the lead to 70-22 going into the fourth quarter and scored the first seven points of the final period with Doyle’s starters out of the game before Kylie Lutz’s long-range basket stopped the run, making the score 72-29.
Avoyelles trimmed the advantage to 72-33 before Kaelyn Contorno and Maddie White had baskets for Doyle to cap the scoring.
“We’ve kind of been fortunate in the last few games being able to do that,” White said of getting her younger players playing time during the playoffs. “That’s good experience. It’s good we get to rest some of our other ones that play constantly, and any time you can get people floor time is great, because you never know. You never know when they may have to go in this year, and they’re definitely going in in the future, so I think floor time for people is really good, and I’m always excited when we get to do that.”