Lady Raiders quarterfinal bound after dispatching North Vermilion

By PRESTON EDWARDS, Journal Sports

“We treat every game like it is a big game…like it is a state championship game,” were the words of coach Brian Shyne before his Huntington Lady Raiders played the Lady Patriots from North Vermilion in a Class 4A playoff matchup.

Huntington came into Monday’s contest having not dropped a game since its loss to Lafayette in January. As a matter of fact, Huntington had won 14 of its last 15 games including a first-round drubbing of South Terrebonne. So, needless to say, the Lady Raiders were feeling confident on Monday night, with good reason.

It wasn’t as smooth as the final 59-35 score indicated, but Huntington is two steps down the path to Marsh Madness, with one more to go later this week.

Both teams had a hard time settling into the contest as they kept turning over the ball. Couple that with both teams being in the bonus after one quarter, it was a miracle that Huntington found a way to take a 13-5 lead after one.

In the second quarter, Ka’Niya Moore finally got things rolling offensively and the Lady Raider defense held the Lady Patriots to another single-digit quarter. Huntington moved out to a solid 29-10 advantage at the break.

Even though Huntington was held to 8 points in the third frame, they were too far ahead for the Lady Patriots to mount a successful comeback. Ka’Niya Moore got some additional help from Kalea Dean and the rest of the squad as Huntington prevailed by 24 over North Vermilion.

The Lady Patriots did not do themselves any favors from the charity stripe shooting 11-of-32.

After the game, coach Shyne talked about battling through adversity.

“They (North Vermilion) are a team that does not quit,” Shyne said. “I feel like we did a good job of sticking together when things weren’t going our way. The effort was there. We just need to clean up a few things.”

Moore and Dean combined for 30 points (16 and 14 respectively) for the Lady Raiders. They helped right the ship of a sputtering offense as North Vermilion made a second-half push. The Lady Raiders’ defense finally kicked it into another gear as they limited the Lady Patriots leading scorer on the night, Jenna Gibson, to muster only 8 points.

Shyne talked about the importance of his two leading scorers.

“We heavily depend on Kalea and Ka’Niya to make plays for us,” Shyne said. “I thought they played pretty solid overall. They played tough and gritty in the paint and we are going to need that moving forward.”

With the victory, Huntington moves on to the quarterfinals and will travel to Galliano, to play the South Lafourche Lady Tarpons.

North Vermilion finishes its season with a 21-10 record.

Photo: by PRESTON EDWARDS