Friday, April 19, 2024

High school girls basketball: Parkway going back to state tournament; Haughton falls to No. 1 Walker in quarterfinals

by Russell Hedges
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It wasn’t easy, but the Parkway Lady Panthers are going to the state tournament for the third straight year.

Parkway, the No. 5 seed, overcame a cold shooting night and defeated No. 13 St. Amant 58-49 in the non-select Division I quarterfinals Thursday night at Parkway.

Parkway (29-6) faces No. 1 Walker (35-1) in the semifinals next week at Southeastern Louisiana’s University Center in Hammond at what is officially known as Girls’ Marsh Madness.

Walker defeated No. 8 Haughton 74-33.

Parkway won the championship last year and finished runner-up in Class 5A in 2022.

The Lady Panthers are going back despite losing five five players off last season’s team that signed with colleges, including four starters.

Parkway Head Coach Gloria Williams said this season’s team has been a resilient one.

“Losing five college players last year not many people outside Parkway High School probably thought that we’d be back,” she said. “And here we are.”

She credits senior leadership.

“It’s really special,” she said.

One of those seniors is four-year starter Chloe Larry. Despite an off night shooting from long range, she scored  33 points.

She hit a big 3-pointer in the third quarter after St. Amant went on a run and tied the score at 30.

With the score tied at 43 with 5:38 left in the game, Larry intercepted a pass and headed toward the basket. She was fouled on the layup and converted the three-point play.

Then she hit an off-balance shot from the baseline following an offensive rebound to give the Lady Panthers a 48-43 lead.

After the Lady Gators got within 48-45, she made another layup to extend the lead back to five with 3:30 left.

The Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Gators 15-6 over the final 5:30.

Rhian Comery led St. Amant with 34 points. Most of those were inside with several coming after offensive rebounds.

Parkway led 14-9 after the first quarter. St. Amant rallied in the second and took a 17-14 lead.

The Lady Panthers then went on a 13-0 run before settling for a 28-21 halftime lead.

Parkway standout Dakota Howard picked up two early foul and collected her third one in the second quarter. She finished with 10 points. Zara Baker added nine points.

At Walker, Haughton ended one of the best seasons in school history 29-7. The Lady Bucs made the quarterfinals for the first time since 2009.

And they did it with three sophomores — Shaniya Perkins, Skylar Branch and Bella Hammond — providing most of the scoring along with senior Abbie Hooper.

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