Home Sports-Free High school girls basketball: Parkway aims for spot in 5A title game

High school girls basketball: Parkway aims for spot in 5A title game

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After last week’s victory over Northshore in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs, Parkway Head Coach Gloria Williams said the trip to Hammond for the state tournament was “about business.”

“We want to enjoy the moment,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong. We’re going down there for some hardware, not just to take a trip.”

The first order of business comes Thursday at 5 p.m. That’s when the No. 2 seed Lady Panthers (32-2) play No. 3 Lafayette (29-4) in the semifinals at the Southeastern Louisiana University Center.

The winner plays the winner of the other semifinal between No. 1 Walker (31-1) and No. 4 Ponchatoula (33-2) for the state championship at 8 Saturday. The Walker-Ponchatoula game follows the Parkway-Lafayette game Thursday at 7:30.

Parkway is in the 5A semifinals for the first time since moving up to Class 5A in the 2011-12 season. The Lady Panthers made the Class 4A semifinals in 2008.

Parkway is looking to reach the championship game for the first time in school history.

To accomplish that, the Lady Panthers will have to defeat a Lafayette squad looking for revenge. Parkway defeated Lafayette 44-38 in the West Monroe tournament on Dec. 28.

The Lady Panthers are 28-1 against Louisiana teams. But that loss was a forfeit to Walker in the Walker tournament on Dec. 17 because of COVID-19-related issues.

Parkway has won 27 straight on the court since losing to Conway, Ark., on Nov. 27 in Little Rock. During that streak, the Lady Panthers’ closet game was against Lafayette.

Junior guard Mikaylah Williams, a finalist for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith National Player of the Year, led Parkway with 18 points. Junior Ty’lissa Henderson had 11 and freshman Savannah Wilson seven. 

Parkway raced to a 12-2 lead in the first quarter. But Lafayette rallied in the second and the score was tied at 19 at halftime. The Lady Panthers led 34-30 going into the fourth quarter.

Chrysta Narcisse led Lafayette with 14 points. Narcisse, a 5-foot-8 junior, was the District 3-5A MVP last season and the Platinum Division MVP in the AllState Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic this season. She has received numerous college offers.

Narcisse had 26 points, eight rebounds, seven steals, four assists and one block in a 65-42 quarterfinal victory over No. 11 Southwood, according to The Baton Rouge Advocate.

The Lady Lions have won 12 in a row since losing to Fairview on Jan. 15. Fairview will play for the Class B championship Friday night.

Lafayette’s other losses were against St. Louis Catholic, 57-54, on Dec. 10 and John Curtis Christian 69-66 on Dec. 22. John Curtis won the Division I championship and St. Louis Christian captured the Division II title last week.

Like Parkway, Lafayette has rolled through the playoffs, defeating No. 30 Fontainebleau 75-20, No. 14 Denham Springs 88-26 and Southwood. 

Last year, Lafayette was the No. 2 seed. But the Lady Lions were upset by No. 10 West Monroe 52-48 in the quarterfinals.

Lafayette is making its first semifinal appearance in 10 years.

Parkway has defeated No. 31 Acadiana 61-15, No. 18 Zachary 72-35 and No. 10 Northshore 82-41 in the playoffs. That’s an average margin of victory of 41.3 points.

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