Girls basketball: Airline, Benton can’t quite pull off upsets

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Russell Hedges

rhedges@bossierpress.com

 

The Airline Lady Vikings and Benton Lady Tigers came close to pulling off upsets in the first round of the high school girls basketball playoffs Thursday night before falling.

In class 5A, the No. 26 seed Lady Vikings lost a heartbreaker to No. 7 Ponchatoula 52-48 in overtime in Ponchatoula.

In Class 4A, the No. 19 Lady Tigers fell to No. 14 West Ouachita 50-40 in West Monroe.

Haughton and Louisiana New Tech at Plain Dealing play first-round games on the road tonight.

Haughton (24-8), the No. 27 seed in 5A, visits No. 6 Destrehan (27-1). New Tech, the No. 20 seed in Class 1A, plays No. 13 Ascension Catholic (14-13) in Gonzalez.

The Airline-Ponchatoula game was nip-and-tuck all the way.

The Lady Vikings trailed by three at the half and then rallied to tie it at 31 going into the fourth quarter.

Ponchatoula (24-5), the District 6-5A champion, led by three in the fourth quarter but Airline came back again and tied it. The Lady Vikings had a chance to win in regulation but the Green Wave forced a turnover with six seconds left.

Airline was whistled for a foul with one second left but Ponchatoula missed the front end of a one-and-one and the game went into overtime.

The Green Wave took control early in the overtime period, racing to a five-point lead.

Senior Jasmyn Carswell, a McNeese State signee, led Airline (17-13) with 17 points. Junior guard Kei McCoy added 15. Junior guard Madison Rowland scored nine.

At West Monroe, Benton overcame a slow start to make a game of it.

The Lady Tigers trailed 18-7 after the first quarter and then dominated the second. West Ouachita (22-10) led 20-19 at the half.

Benton (20-12) trailed by only two, 31-29, going into the fourth quarter, but the Lady Chiefs pulled way for the win.