“This Is truly a special group of young ladies who share the talent to play the game, a willingness to work hard and the dedication to stay on task.” Lisa Dugas, head coach
The Southside Junior High School girls’ eighth-grade basketball team won the 2013 Livingston Parish district title with an unblemished season that included winning first place in the Livingston Parish Tournament, St. Teresa’s Brett & Brett Tournament in Gonzales, and the Livingston Parish District Beginning-of-the-Year Tournament, team officials said.
The team is led by a group of players who have played together for the past several years, accumulating a remarkable 50-1 record since sixth grade under their Head Coach Lisa Dugas — the best record of any team in her 17 years of coaching, she said.
“This is truly a special group of young ladies who share the talent to play the game, a willingness to work hard and the dedication to stay on task. They are fun to coach and watch play, and I look forward to seeing them develop their game at the high school level in the coming years,” Dugas said.
The team’s eighth-graders include Kedranea Addison, Christina Canale, Jayley Clouatre, Madison Cresie, Nautica Maryland, Cathryn McClanahan, Jessica Paige Rabalais, Tremeeka Spikes and Caroline Taylor. Seventh-graders Raven Barze, Kaitlyn Friedman and Celine Rodriguez also played on the team. Kade Bourg was the team’s manager.
Dugas said the team’s 50-1, three-year record is the best finish of any school team in her 17 years of coaching at Southside Junior High. The team’s only loss came to Albany Middle School in the team’s first game of it sixth-grade season.
Dugas noted that one player, Caroline Taylor, is the only player during that same 17-year-span to have started every eighth-grade game for three years, beginning when she was a sixth-grader.
Dugas said the team’s greatest challenge came this season in the parishwide tournament. Southside defeated Holden, 34-32, in a semifinal that included a clutch 3-point-shot to tie the game and a defensive steal that led to the go-ahead basket in the waning seconds of the game. Southside advanced to the championship game against Doyle, which was undefeated at that time, winning that game by a 12-point margin.
Southside Junior High out-scored opponents this year by a margin of 37.5 points to 21.1 points per game. The team was led in scoring by Taylor, who tossed in 9.4 points per game, Addison with 9.2 points per game, Spikes with 7.0 points per game, Canale with 4.7 points per game and Clouatre with 3.8 points per game.
“One of the impressive things about this team has been its unselfish play and shared scoring attack from all five starters,” Dugas said. “If statistics had been kept on assists, those numbers would have been as evenly distributed throughout the team as well.”
Southside Junior High finished out the season defeating all its challengers, including Live Oak Middle School, Albany Middle School, Westside School, Juban Parc Middle School, North Corbin Middle School and Denham Springs Junior High, as well as Episcopal School of Baton Rouge and Prairieville Middle School of Ascension Parish whom they met in the Gonzales tournament.
“This team has enjoyed a remarkable run. I’m so proud of their efforts on and off the court. They displayed great composure and sportsmanship week after week, and they maintained their focus to finish undefeated — that’s quite an accomplishment,” Dugas said.