A young and testy Vandebilt Catholic girls basketball team gave a more experienced H.L. Bourgeois team all it could handle Thursday night.
For four quarters the Lady Terriers fought tooth and nail with the Lady Braves and led after each of the first three periods. But a late fourth-quarter rally by H.L. Bourgeois, capped by a frantic finish at the buzzer gave the Lady Braves a thrilling 36-35 win.
A slow first quarter saw only six points and two field goals combined between the two teams with Vandebilt holding a 4-2 lead after the opening period.
Things picked up in the second quarter when Vandebilt opened up a seven-point lead. H.L. Bourgeois started their comeback right away and cut the lead to one at one point before halftime.
The Braves went on a 6-0 run that started when Nashlie Dominguez hit a jump shot on her way into the paint and then drew a foul. She missed the free throw attempt, but Dazhane Gassery made a quick rebound and converted another basket. Destiny Shelby then made a steal and hit another shot to close the game back to within a points at 11-10. The Terriers withstood the Braves’ surge and took a 15-12 lead into halftime.
Vandebilt led for most of the third quarter but Dominguez made two key baskets – a pair of running shots through the lane – to close out the quarter and cut the Terrier lead to 24-23 entering the fourth.
Then things began to really pick up.
H.L. Bourgeois took its first lead since the first quarter when Gassery made a basket to make it 25-24 to open the fourth. Shelby upped the lead to 27-24 as part of an 8-0 Braves run – their biggest of the night.
From there, both teams fought back and forth between a tie game and one team holding a one-possession advantage. H.L. Bourgeois tied the game at 29-all and Dominguez gave them the lead at 31-29 with under four minutes to play.
H.L. Bourgeois led by as many as five in the final minute, going ahead 35-30 with just 45 seconds to play on a basket by Shelby. By then, it looked as if the game was inching closer and closer out of reach. But a young and pesky Vandebilt team wasn’t about to let this one go without a fight.
Within a matter of 10 seconds of game clock, the Terriers turned the game on its head, capping a lightning-fast 4-0 run when Brittany Theriot stole an inbound pass and made a subsequent layup to turn a 35-30 H.L. Bourgeois lead into a 35-34 nail-biter with 31.1 seconds to play.
The Braves continued to have problems inbounding the ball and committed a turnover on another inbound pass following Theriot’s basket, yet they still managed to hang on to the lead at 36-34 down the stretch.
With less than 10 seconds to go and Vandebilt vying for the tying or possible game-winning basket, H.L. Bourgeois opted to foul Vandebilt’s Sara Savoie instead of risking a shot at the buzzer. Savoie missed on the first free throw attempt but hit on the second to make the score 36-35.
Vandebilt got one more chance at the buzzer thanks to a lane violation called on H.L. Bourgeois’ part but Amy Parrott’s attempt at a game-winning basket missed just to the right of the rim and H.L. Bourgeois mercifully held on for the win in a wild, frenzied finish.
“They played us hard,” H.L. Bourgeois coach Michael Melancon said. “We’ve been playing almost every night it feels. We had won five in a row and I knew we were going to come out flat, and we did. We’re exhausted and tired. This was a very big win. We needed to build our confidence for sure, but they also needed to win against a team they knew was going to play them hard on defense, and if they don’t give up, they could come out with a victory at the end.
“Vandebilt was the better team on the court (Thursday) in almost every aspect.”
Dominguez led H.L. Bourgeois (6-2 overall) with 16 points and Gassery added 12 points.
For Vandebilt, Terriers coach Jerwaski Coleman said his team was still trying to find its identity. At the moment, he said it looks like that identity is being scrappy.
“We put ourselves in an opportunity to be successful,” Coleman said. “The shots are eventually going to fall. We’re full of freshmen. I have one senior, one junior and two sophomores. The rest are all freshmen. Last year was the foundation year. This year is the teaching year. We have to teach the little things. At the end of the game, we didn’t know how to do the situational things. Once we’re able to do that, we’re going to be a very good team.”
Ashley Eskind and Leia Verret had eight points apiece for Vandebilt. Parrott had seven points.
GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL CAPSULES
RIVERDALE 40, CENTRAL LAFOURCHE 28 (at New Orleans, nondistrict game)
Score by quarters: It was tied at 8 after the first quarter, Riverdale led 20-14 at halftime and 28-27 at the end of the third quarter.
Statistical leaders: Central Lafourche – Gyllian Gautreaux (nine points), Deanne Schouest (nine points), Claire Hodson (eight points), Chloe Babin (seven points)
Records: Riverdale (4-7 overall); Central Lafourche (3-7 overall)
ELLENDER 55, BAKER 15 (at Houma, nondistrict game)
Statistical leaders: Ellender – Orieon James (20 points), Terris McKay (five steals), Nikkia Johnson (five steals)
Records: Ellender (8-1 overall); Baker (5-6 overall)
NORTHSHORE 30, SOUTH TERREBONNE 25 (at the Northshore Tournament in Slidell)
Score by quarters: Northshore led 5-4 after the first quarter, 8-6 at halftime and 18-11 at the end of the third quarter
Statistical leaders: South Terrebonne – Chloe Fleming (12 points), Amy Parrott (seven points)
Records: Northshore (6-2 overall); South Terrebonne (9-2 overall)
E.D. WHITE CATHOLIC 49, DONALDSONVILLE 47 (at the St. James Tournament)
Score by quarters: Donaldsonville led 16-13 after the first quarter, 24-23 at halftime and E.D. White led 39-36 after the third quarter.
Statistical leaders: E.D. White – Michae Jones (14 points), Elli Brady (11 points), Avery Sanders (10 points)
Records: E.D. White (6-0 overall); Donaldsonville (7-4 overall)
ST. JAMES 72, EAST IBERVILLE 26 (at the St. James Tournament)
Statistical leaders: St. James – Raveon Fletcher (18 points), Lauryn Scott (16 points), Nadia Braud (15 points) Alexis Keller (11 points), Charity Cooper (nine points)
Records: St. James (6-7 overall); East Iberville (2-9 overall)
-- Complied by sports writer Kelly McElroy