Patterson grabbed an early lead as Morgan City struggled to convert on the offensive end. The Lumberjills held off a late rally to take a 25-23 lead into halftime.
Tiera Butler led the ’Jills with 10 first-half points while Casey Chenevert was Morgan City’s top scorer with eight.
Morgan City coach Aaron Meyer held Chenevert out of the offensive end of the court for the majority of the first half.
“They played a defense where they tried to single her out and play zone on everyone else, it’s a lot easier to score on a zone,” Meyer said. “So we played a four-man game and took away their best defender and that’s to our advantage.”
Early in the third quarter the Lady Tigers went on an 8-3 run to take their first lead of the game, 31-28, with 5:13 to play.
The teams went back and forth for the remainder of the quarter with Morgan City hanging on to a 43-38 lead.
Butler continued her stellar work on the offensive boards keeping Patterson close in the final quarter. The senior finished the game with 18 points.
“They are tough under the boards,” Meyer said. “They have good size and they make their shots.”
Patterson went on a 6-0 run to take a 46-45 lead on Nakia Brooks’ jumper with 5:13 to play but Morgan City’s Dawanna Laboo scored 10 of her 16 points down the stretch to keep the Lady Tigers in control.
“That number 14 (Laboo) hurt us late,” Patterson coach LaGenia Darnell said. “She just came to life late and hit some big shots. They also got a bunch of fast break points because our guards didn’t get back on defense.”
Patterson’s starting point guard, Alex Benjamin, was out with an injury.
Leading scores for Morgan City were Chenevert with 21; Laboo 16; Kaylyn Washington, nine; Meya Moorse, seven; Tammy Nguyen, four; and Steveyon Walker, two.
Leaders for Patterson were Butler, 18; Brooks, 17; Jazmin Evans, six; Gaylen Butler, five; and Tala Johnson, four.
“These are two evenly matched teams and when you add the local rivalry, it’s always going to be an exciting game,” Meyer said.