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Mamou defeats No. 1 seed Rapides to earn berth in 2A semifinals

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Mamou High’s Braylin Charles goes up for a jumpshot in a game played earlier this season. The Lady Demons defeated Rapides Thursday night to advance to the Top 28 for the first time in the last 19 years. (Gazette photo by Tracey Jagneaux)

By: TONY MARKS
Staff Reporter

LECOMPTE – The eighth seeded Mamou Lady Demons wrangled the top ranked Rapides Lady Mustangs to a 68-55 win Thursday night in Lecompte in the quarterfinal round to advance to the Top 28.
The Lady Demons now face fourth ranked Rayville at Hammond’s University Center at 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday.
“This is the first time in 19 years that we’ve been to the Top 28,” said Mamou head coach Denetra Allison-Lewis. “So I think it means a lot for the school and the town going back to the Top 28. We had a lot of support today. I thank everybody for coming out to support us. Everybody wanted us to win, and we took it.”
Rapides won the tip, but Mamou forced the early turnover and got a three-pointer to cap off the possession. Mamou then got another three-pointer as the Lady Demons came out playing with energy.
Rapides went on a run to make it a two-point game before Darelzray Bellard drilled a long range three-pointer. Rapides then made it a one point game at 11-10.
Bellard was at the line at the 2:22 mark of first quarter and connected on all three free throws.
Mamou scored on back-to-back possessions for the 18-10 lead. Braylin Charles added to the scoring run with a basket as Rapides called a timeout trailing 20-10 with 1:12 remaining in the first stanza.
Katie Couvillion got the bucket as the first quarter came to an end with her team trailing 22-10.
Charles received the lob pass and put the ball through the net leading off the second quarter, then Bellard added a jump shot. Kazhana Richard was at the line with 5:22 before the half and made both free throws giving her team the 16-point lead.
Darylnetta Martin answered the call and scored on both attempts from the charity stripe. A timeout was called on the court 4:08 before the half with Mamou leading 33-17.
Martin picked up her third foul coming out of the timeout sending Bellard to the line where she made both free throws. Charles then got the steal and capitalized at the basket.
She later got the basket just inside the three-point line. A timeout was called with 1:32 before the half with Mamou up 41-25.
As Couvillion missed a three heading into the final minute, Kiajah Wilson drove down the court for the layup. The first half ended with Mamou leading 43-25.
Bellard got the steal on the opening possession of the second half and got the points.
Mitchell then scored as she picked up second chance points. Bellard was then at the line at the 5:32 mark and made both free throws to go up 49-31. Rapides went on a 4-0 scoring run half way through the third quarter.
Couvillion connected on a long range two-pointer from the far end of the key approaching the final minute. At the end of three quarters of play in Lecompte, Mamou led Rapides 56-42.
Mitchell got the first points of the final quarter as Rapides was in the midst of a 7-0 scoring run. She then extended the run making it a two possession game before Bellard got the basket.
Mamou called a full time out leading 58-51 with 4:45 remaining in regulation. Bellard scored to lead 60-53 going down the home stretch. Richard gave her team the easy basket and more separation. Mamou called a timeout inside the final minute leading 64- 55 as shouts of “We believe, Demons!” rang out. Rapides resigned to fouling the Lady Demons, and Mamou took advantage to hold on for the win.
Darelzray Bellard led all scorers with 29-points. Four of her baskets came from beyond the arc, and she went eight-for-13 from the free throw line.

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