Game time is 6:30 p.m.
Loyola Prep’s Flyers (31-3, 6-0) will bring six seniors to the court at ninth-seeded AHS, led by 6-foot-3-inch Tulane commitment Morgan Rogers, who scored 12 points for her squad in Thursday’s 49-26 regional-round victory over 20th-ranked South Beauregard. Rogers’ teammate and fellow senior Cinderella Linnear scored 11 points in that game.
Though the Flyers will be traveling all the way from Shreveport for Monday’s game, don’t expect experienced Loyola Prep to be at a disadvantage.
“We went to Hammond in the semifinals last year and Monroe the year before,” said Flyers head coach Kyle Tanner “Both times, we lost to the number-one seed. That can’t happen this year... If you want to win it all, you’ve got to expect to face good teams and deal with adversity. That’s what we’re expecting when we come down there.
“We’re just glad to still be playing.”
Tanner was reluctant to point to any one player as being a leader in either scoring or intangibles for his team, instead using the term “balanced” to describe his team.
“One of our strengths is the balance that we have,” he said. “There’s nothing anyone can really key on. ”
Despite the Flyers’ phenomenal record, Tanner said the season had its up and downs.
“We played a tough schedule that was meant to test us,” he said. “I think it really did. We were able to make it through and improve to make a run in the playoffs and now here we are.”
Lady Wildcats head coach Dean Dronet said he is expecting exactly such a balanced team to take the court against his team come Monday night.
“I hear they have a really solid zone (defense) that they like to run,” said Dronet. “But, they have a really solid man (defense) they also like to play. We’re going to have to sharpen our man up and be ready to be guarded hard.”
The Lady Wildcats earned their quarter-final home game with a 53-51 road win at eighth-seeded Marksville on Thursday night (see page 10A for the recap). That victory required contributions from the Abbeville bench as well as the usual starters.
Dronet said Monday’s game will likely require an even more concerted effort on the part of his players for the Lady Wildcats to earn a victory and advance to the semifinals.
“They’re really solid. They’re number one in the state for a reason,” he said. “We’re going to have to take care of the ball and make every possession count and try to pick a good shot.
“They like to slash. We’re going to try to stop the big girl down low and limit them to one shot.”
Dronet said blocking out and rebounding on the defensive end will also likely be keys to earning a win.
“Down the stretch, if it’s a close game, we’ve got to handle the ball and make our free throws,” he added.
“They’ve got some really good guards who can play their positions and take it to the goal,” said Dronet. “We’re going to have to be on our ‘A’ game or it won’t be pretty.”