Lakeview can’t overcome rough first half, falls in state final

During the LHSAA Division IV Non-Select girls basketball state championship game at the University Center on Southeastern Louisiana University campus in Hammond, Louisiana on Friday, March 3, 2023. (Photo by Peter G. Forest/Forest Photography, LLC)

HAMMOND – The Lakeview High School girls’ basketball team nearly pulled off an amazing comeback Friday in the Ochsner’s LHSAA Division IV Non-Select state championship game.

But a rocky first two quarters proved just a bit too much for the Lady Gators to overcome and ninth-seeded Oakdale upset No. 2-seeded Lakeview 53-48 at the University Center on the Southeastern Louisiana University campus.

Lakeview suffered 18 first-half turnovers and made only 4 of 13 free throws in the first two quarters as Oakdale’s full-court press was too much to handle. The Lady Warriors ran off 10 straight points in the first quarter to lead 14-7 after eight minutes, and opened a 27-14 halftime advantage.

The Lady Gators were better after halftime, but just couldn’t complete their rally. Lakeview got within six points in the third period, then after Oakdale pushed away again, the Lady Gators made their final surge in the closing minutes.

With 1:40 to go, a steal and layup by Timberlyn Washington drew Lakeview within 49-46 but over the next minute Oakdale scored the next four points and held the Lady Gators to just one basket the rest of the way.

Lakeview finished its state runner-up season with a 24-4 record. Oakdale rose to 18-12 with its surprising run to the title, which included a banked-in, buzzer-beating 3-pointer Monday to upset No. 1-ranked Arcadia in the state semifinals.

Washington scored 19 points, handed out five assists and made three steals to lead Lakeview, as she has done all season long. Sa’Niyah Marshall hit four of her five shots from the floor and scored 10 points, while Trinity Browder scored nine for the Lady Gators, who made only three turnovers after halftime and sank eight of nine free throws in their comeback.

For more Journal coverage, check Monday’s edition.

PHOTO – Attached  (Photo by PETER FOREST, Journal Sports)