ABBEVILLE — It was a clash of the titans as the state’s No. 2 and No. 3 teams in Class 1A, Vermilion Catholic and Central Catholic, respectively, met in District 8-1A action.
Missed free throws by Vermilion Catholic and a strong defense, coupled with a 23-point game from Central Catholic’s Meo Knight, helped Central Catholic leave town with a 52-46 victory.
With the win, Central Catholic (16-6 overall) remains undefeated in District 8-1A play with a 4-0 mark and a little bit of breathing room as district play continues into its second half. But, according to coach Jamarr Garrett, it doesn’t mean the girls can let up.
“We don’t want them to get too relaxed,” he said.
Despite Vermilion Catholic’s record and ranking, Garrett said there was less nervousness and more anticipation going into the game.
“We’ve played good teams all season long,” he said. “There were top teams from other classes in there that we played just as hard against.”
Vermilion Catholic (20-4 overall, 3-1 in District 8-1A), which entered the game also ranked No. 1 in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s latest unofficial Class 1A power rankings, scored first, but it would be the only time it led during the game.
Central Catholic, ranked fifth in those same power rankings, went on a 14-4 run for the remainder of the first period and stretched the game to a 14-point lead in the second before Vermilion Catholic threatened to get back in the game.
A buzzer-beater throw from near mid-court brought Vermilion Catholic within 6 points at halftime as Central Catholic led 29-23 at the break.
Central Catholic fended off the comeback after the half, only allowing their opponents to get within two points before driving them back.
The standouts of the game for Central Catholic were Knight and Randi Brown. Knight picked up 23 points while Brown picked up 19.
“One (Brown) was 8-11 from the floor and the other was (Knight) 8-13 from the floor,” Garrett said. “That’s the best we’ve shot the ball all year.”
In addition to her points, Knight added seven rebounds, six steals, three assists and a block, while Brown also contributed eight rebounds, one assist, three steals and a block.
Other top contributors for Central Catholic included Makayla McDaniel, one point, seven assists, three steals and a rebound; Caroline Byrne, four points and two rebounds; and Abbie Bergeron, three points and one steal.
Central Catholic, which moved up to No. 2 in the latest Louisiana Sports Writer's Association Class 1A poll released today, will return to action Tuesday when it hosts Class 4A's No. 3 ranked squad, Vandebilt Catholic, in non-district play at 6 p.m.
Additional reporting by Daily Review Sports Editor Geoff Stoute and information from Bayoupreps.com