Girls Basketball Finals: Easton closes best, downs Benton to win second straight Class 4A girls title
Congrats to Warren Easton for their 58-49 win over Benton and the new Class 4A Allstate Sugar Bowl Girls' Marsh Madness State Champions! pic.twitter.com/v2CLDh2Zrq
— LHSAA (@LHSAA) March 2, 2019
ALEXANDRIA – In a back-and-forth matchup of the top two teams in Class 4A, Warren Easton delivered the final blow.
The second-seeded Eagles (32-5) closed the night with seven unanswered points in the final 36 seconds to wrap up a 58-49 victory over the top-seeded Lady Tigers at Rapides Parish Coliseum, giving Easton its second consecutive 4A title and third in five years.
Benton (34-4), which trailed by 15 points in the second quarter, tied the game midway through the third quarter and was down 51-49 with 1:03 left.
The Eagles hit their free throws down the stretch to close the game on a 7-0 run and close the season on a 15-game winning streak.
Senior Cabria Lewis, named the game’s most outstanding player, finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Lewis – who scored 17 points after halftime – capped the game-ending run with a three-point play with 8.5 seconds left.
Easton used an early 12-2 second-quarter run to build a 23-8 lead, but Benton answered by scoring the next 10 points and eventually pulled even at 31-all midway through the third quarter.
Benton could never take the lead, however.
The Eagles scored the next six points and kept the lead the rest of the way, but not without holding off threats by the Lady Tigers.
The last of those threats came in the final 90 seconds. After Easton took a 51-45 lead, Benton answered with a pair of buckets to pull within two points.
Benton fouled Breanna Sutton with 36.9 seconds left and she hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to make it a two-possession game.
After a held ball stayed with Benton, Easton forced a turnover on the inbounds.
Senior Casey Harris then knocked down a pair of foul shots with 21 seconds left and Lewis ended it with an old-fashioned three-point play with 8.5 seconds left.
Easton coach Darius Mimms loses three senior starters in Lewis, Harris and Kiana Anderson – who missed nearly the entire season because of a torn ACL but returned this week.
“It’s been an emotional week for me because it’s the end (for these seniors),” Mimms said.
Friday’s game was the third meeting in a year between the two programs located in different corners of the state. Easton won 64-54 in last year’s 4A semifinal, but Benton won 45-43 in the opening week of this season.
Allstate Sugar Bowl LHSAA Girls Basketball State Tournament
All games at Rapides Parish Coliseum, Alexandria
Monday, February 25
Division V Semifinals
(1) Claiborne Christian 36, (5) Grace Christian 26
(2) Family Community 52, (3) Family Christian 37
Division IV Semifinals
(1) Lafayette Christian 69, (5) Ouachita Christian 33
(3) Vermilion Catholic 49, (2) Houma Christian 44
Class C Semifinals
(1) Plainview 68, (4) Ebarb 46
(6) Reeves 45, (2) Atlanta 31
Tuesday, February 26
Division II Semifinals
(1) Lee Magnet 79, (4) Ursuline Academy 61
(2) St. Louis Catholic 87, (3) University High 86 (OT)
Class 1A Semifinals
(4) Delhi 59, (1) East Iberville 37
(3) Elton 38, (2) KIPP Booker T. Washington 34
Class 4A Semifinals
(1) Benton 47, (5) Ellender 46
(2) Warren Easton 53, (3) Minden 39
Wednesday, February 27
Division III Semifinals
(2) Northlake Christian 59, (3) St. Katharine Drexel 49
(1) St. Thomas Aquinas 70, (5) Country Day 39
Class B Semifinals
(5) Hicks 58, (9) Zwolle 49
(2) Anacoco 59, (3) Fairview 46
Class 3A Semifinals
(1) Loranger 43, (4) Northwest 42
(2) Madison Prep 59, (3) Albany 46
Thursday, February 28
Division I Semifinals
(3) Mount Carmel 32, (2) Dominican 22
(1) John Curtis Christian 61, (5) St. Joseph’s Academy 18
Class 2A Semifinals
(4) Mansfield 57, (8) Rayville 49
(2) North Caddo 48, (6) Red River 47
Class 5A Semifinals
(9) Captain Shreve 65, (5) East Ascension 48
(6) Denham Springs 48, (2) Walker 33
Friday, March 1
Division V championship, (1) Claiborne Christian 37, (2) Family Community 36
Division IV championship, (1) Lafayette Christian 48, (3) Vermilion Catholic 33
Division II championship, (1) Lee Magnet 64, (2) St. Louis Catholic 60
Class C championship, (1) Plainview 55, (6) Reeves 32
Class 1A championship, (3) Elton 51, (4) Delhi 44
Class 4A championship, (2) Warren Easton 58, (1) Benton 49
Saturday, March 2
Division III championship, (1) St. Thomas Aquinas vs. (2) Northlake Christian, 10 a.m.
Division I championship, (1) John Curtis Christian vs. (3) Mount Carmel Academy, noon
Class B championship, (2) Anacoco vs. (5) Hicks, 2 p.m.
Class 2A championship, (2) North Caddo vs. (4) Mansfield, 4 p.m.
Class 3A championship, (1) Loranger vs. (2) Madison Prep, 6 p.m.
Class 5A championship, (6) Denham Springs vs. (9) Captain Shreve, 8 p.m.
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Lenny has been involved in college athletics since the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…