GONZALES – East Ascension closed out the regular season last week with a pair of wins over McKinley and St. Amant
to finish undefeated in girls 5-5A district play.
The defending 5A state champions started the week with a 56-53 win over McKinley to claim the league title. The two teams were co-champs last year with 9-1 district marks.
Senior veterans Diniaa McZeal and Tristen Washington led the way for the defending state champs in their district-clinching matchup at McKinley last Monday.
McZeal scored 13 of her game-high 18 points in the second half while Washington, who was the title game MVP last season, scored 17 points, including three 3-pointers.
East Ascension had won the previous district meeting between the two teams 60-56 last month in Gonzales.
McKinley (21-13, 7-2) led 25-20 at the half and the fourth quarter saw six lead changes with the Lady Panthers taking a 51-48 lead with 1:49 remaining.
Following baskets by Aja Causey and Washington that put EA back on top, McKinley took its final lead on a Brailyn Tate layup with a minute left.
McZeal answered with the winning basket on a free throw line jumper and Alynzia Morris added two free throws with 15.7 seconds remaining.
EA’s Sadie Williams blocked the Lady Panthers last chance 3-point attempt at the final buzzer.
The Spartans wrapped up the regular season with a 45-25 home win over St. Amant last Thursday East Ascension (21-2, 10-0), the likely five-seed in the 5A state playoffs, will host a first-round playoff game this Thursday night at the Spartan gym.
The Girls March Madness Tournament will be held Feb. 25-March 2 at the Rapides Coliseum in Alexandria.
District 5-5A Girls Records
(Final Regular Season Standings)
EAHS 21-2, 10-0
McKinley 22-13, 8-2
St. Amant 22-8, 6-4
Dutchtown 14-16, 4-6
St. Joseph’s 13-17, 2-8
Broadmoor 5-24, 0-10
Played Monday, 2/4
East Ascension 56, McKinley 53
East Ascension 15 10 17 14 – 56
McKinley 15 15 12 11 – 53
SCORING – EAST ASCENSION: Diniaa McZeal 18, Tristen Washington 17, Aja Causey 8, Alynzia Morris
5, Sadie Williams 5, Nieya Jackson 2, Makenzie Harris 1; MCKINLEY: Brailyn Tate 15, Erica Lafayette
15, Caira Wren 11, Johne Forman 9, Megan Brown 3.
3-point goals: EAHS 4 (Washington 3, McZeal 1); MHS 7 (Forman 3, Tate 2, Brown 1, Lafayette 1).
Team records: EAHS 21-2, 10-0 in District 5-5A; McKinley 22-13, 8-2