LIVINGSTON – The top-seeded Doyle girls basketball team has made a living making opponents miserable with their pressure defense.
Believe it or not, the top-seeded Lady Tigers may have turned things up a notch in their bi-district playoff game against Jeanerette.
Doyle turned up the heat virtually from the opening tip, holding Jeanerette to four points through the first three quarters on the way to a 58-15 win Thursday at Doyle Elementary.
“That is what we do, and we did talk about turning it up from the tip,” said Doyle coach Sam White, whose team travels to No. 17 Avoyelles Charter, a 49-43 upset winner over No. 16 French Settlement, in Monday's regional round at 6 p.m. “Let’s be who we are. Let’s be who we are, even better. Let’s take that next step. This is what we practice and play for all year long. The girls are super excited. I knew we’d be coming out aggressive, and they did well.”
Asia Ayro scored Jeanerette’s (8-15) only basket of the first quarter, cutting the lead to 4-2, but Doyle's Kourtlyn Lacey nailed a 3-pointer, keying a 25-0 run to close out the first quarter.
Doyle (28-4) never allowed Jeanerette to get comfortable, creating turnovers into points. Elise Jones and Lacey each scored eight points in the first quarter as six Doyle players scored.
Claire Glascock and Lacey nailed consecutive 3-pointers, and Meghan Watson’s inside basket gave the Lady Tigers a 29-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.
That lead was tempered somewhat when Doyle’s Sydney Taylor went down with an ankle injury on the last play of the first quarter. She didn’t return after scoring two points in the first quarter.
“She’s going to be fine,” White said. “It’s a sprain.”
Grace Jones’ long-range two-pointer extended the lead to 38-2 before Kailey Lively got Jeanerette’s only basket of the second quarter.
Watson, who finished with nine points, nine rebounds and five blocks, scored five points during a 10-0 run, including a layup at the buzzer, to make it 48-4 at halftime.
Presleigh Scott, who led Doyle with 11 points, had seven in the second quarter. Lacey and Jones each finished with 10 points.
“We practice a lot on our defense and a lot of our offense and just make sure that we don’t let them get in a pace, and we just make sure we stay at our pace the whole time,” Scott said.
White subbed out some of her starters to begin the third quarter, and Doyle went on an 8-0 run in the third quarter, pulling ahead 56-4 going into the fourth quarter.
“Sometimes that’s difficult a little bit,” White said of playing with a big lead. “I want to let my girls play and feel good and us kind of get on a roll, but it’s good too to rest a little and give other people opportunities to play because you never know when they may have to play. I always thought it was a good idea when you’re ahead and you feel comfortable that players who may eventually play one day get to come in and play, because it’s important for them to get some experience, too.”
Doyle’s younger players took over in the fourth quarter as Jeanerette went 9-for-18 from the free-throw line to begin to cut into the lead.
Charleigh Naquin scored Doyle’s only basket of the fourth quarter, making the score 58-13.
“We’re just going to keep on playing as hard as we can and not get out of that rhythm,” Scott said of moving on to the next round.
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