Amite keeps repeat title hopes alive with girls basketball semifinal win over Winnfield

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Amite vs Winnfield girls basketball
During the LHSAA Division III Non-Select girls basketball state semifinal game at the University Center on Southeastern Louisiana University campus in Hammond, Louisiana on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. (Photo by Peter G. Forest/Forest Photography, LLC)

HAMMOND – The Amite Lady Warriors are on a mission to win back-to-back State titles.

Head Coach Renee Pierre ghad her team on a roll but ran into a problem when Miracle Irving had a torn ACL in a state quarterfinals victory over Bogalusa.

Filling the void, Amite faced a stiff early challenge from Winnfield but steadily pulled away to take a 59-37 victory in the Division III Select semifinals Wednesday night at the University Center.

Amite (25-4) took an early 8-2 lead when Hai’ley Brumfield and Kayla Toefield scored consecutive layups. Winnfield (18-11) bounced back with a jumper by Helen Sapp and a three-pointer by Alyvia Monnin but trailed 11-7.

The Lady Warriors used a three-pointer by Toefield and a driving layup by Brumfield to extend their lead to 18-8.

Brumfield continued her offensive tear with a three-pointer and a jumper but Winnfield outscored Amite 6-2 in last three minutes of the first half. Winnfield’s Denasia Brown knocked down a three-pointer late to make to 29-21 at the half.

The Lady Warriors began to pull away further from Winnfield in the second half behind solid defense, outscoring the Lady Tigers 16-7 in the third quarter. Alasia Williams and Saniya Addison scored a pair of shots while Rene Harris knocked down consecutive jumpers to extend the lead to 41-26.

Amite put the game out of reach whenBrumfield scored six straight points including a driving layup that gavethe Lady Warriors a commanding 53-30 lead.

“No matter where you at, just play your game. No matter who’s hurt, you got to step it up,” said Brumfield. “If you want to win, either it’s win or go home. The years before Jen Pierre taught me the ropes on how to control the team and being a leader.”

Brumfield led the Lady Warriors with 23 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. Williams finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Toefield pitched in 10 points, five rebounds and two assists.

“We came out iffy because of our injuries. Winnfield came out ready to play,” said Amite head coach Renee Pierre. “We’re going to have to really get it against Rosepine. We need to push the ball a lot and step it up another notch. I don’t know what plan were going to have at 4pm on Saturday but we’re going to be ready.”

Winnfield had two players scoring in double figures. Sapp led the Lady Tigers with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Kamarie Brown finished with 10 points, four rebounds, and two assists.

“We lost on the scoreboard but we won in life. I asked these girls to play hard and play with confidence,” said Winnfield Head Coach Bobby Armstrong. “I told them on the 1st day on the job, if you work hard then you will make it to the Top 28. Let’s leave it out on the court every night when we come out.”

Amite will face Rosepine in the Division III (Non-Select) State Title game on Saturday at 4pm at the University Center at Southeast Louisiana University.

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