Ouachita Christian builds lead, holds off Dominican to reach Sugar Bowl final

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WESTWEGO – St. Mary’s Dominican and Ouachita Christian came into this big matchup on a pair of hot streaks. Dominican had won nine in a row while Ouachita Christian had built up a 12-game winning streak.

Something had to give in the 2022 Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic Girls Gold Bracket semifinals. Both teams went all out but the Lady Eagles made critical free-throws in the fourth quarter to secure a 42-37 victory Friday night at the Alario Center.

Trailing by 10, Dominican (16-3) scored the first six points in the final stanza. Layups by Allison Tullier, Sophia Martin and Bailey Johnson cut the OCS lead to 35-31 with 4:51 remaining. Ouachita Christian made seven of their last eight free throws to preserve the victory.

Dominican had a hot start to the game taking an 11-3 lead as Tullier knocked down a trio of three-pointers to get Dominican going.

Undaunted, the Lady Eagles turned up the heat in the second quarter. Madison Basco took charge in the paint and scored six points while Anna Dale Melton buried a three-pointer as OCS went on a 15-0 run to close out the half with a 18-14 lead.

“We started out very slow but our girls kept fighting. It was a tough battle and it was a great battle,” said Ouachita Christian Head Coach Stan Humphries. “You got knock down free throws at the end of the game. It’s important because they’re going to foul you just to get back in the game. We were able to knock them down at the end, get some key rebounds and play some great defense.”

Ouachita Christian (19-1) kept things rolling as Avery Hopkins scored consecutive layups and six points total in the third quarter. Martin kept Dominican in the game with back to back layups but the Lady Eagles outscored Dominican 16-11 in the quarter to maintain a 34-25 lead.

Dominican had two players scoring in double figures. Tullier led the way with 15 points. Martin finished with 10 points.

“We didn’t always play great but I can’t fault the effort that we had. We got some good shots and it didn’t go down,” said Dominican Head Coach Ryan Reuter. “We got to be more consistent handling and passing the ball throughout the game. We’re thankful for the competition and we love coming to this tournament.”

Ouachita Christian also had two players scoring in double figures. Melton posted 13 points and Hopkins finished with 12 points.

“We came down here to get better. We started out rough but I love this team because we always comeback, play hard, play with heart and we didn’t want to go home,” said Melton. “We need to fight, come out strong and give it out on the floor. I think this is an amazing experience not too many people get to do. It’s awesome to come down here and play games to get better.”

Quachita Christian advanced to the Girls Gold Bracket final against Amite at 2 p.m. Saturday. Crescent City Sports will broadcast all four Sugar Bowl bracket finals online live.

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