Hanson Memorial Lady Tigers earn thrilling comeback win

No. 8 seeded Hanson Memorial Lady Tigers were determined to manufacture their own brand of luck Monday, rallying for a dramatic come-from-behind 56-52 victory over No. 25 seeded Ascension Catholic in the opening round of the Class 1A girls basketball playoffs Monday at the Billy Gene Talbot Gymnasium.

With the win, the No. 8 seeded Hanson Lady Tigers will now face No. 9 seeded Country Day possibly on Thursday at the Billy Gene Talbot Gymnasium in the regional round of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s girls basketball pairings. Country Day posted a 40-31 win over the Gueydan Lady Bears in bidistrict action.

On Monday night, the Hanson Memorial Lady Tigers spotted Ascension Catholic a huge 41-32 before calmly staging a thrilling comeback victory on the heels of clutch shooting and tenacious defensive pressure.

Ascension Catholic built up the huge third quarter lead only to watch it evaporate as the Hanson Lady Tigers stormed back with clutch shooting and suffocating defense which forced numerous late-game turnovers of which HMS capitalized on.

Second-year Hanson Head Coach Dustin Cole listed the Lady Tigers capitalizing on the Lady Bulldogs stall tactics as the key to the win.

“With about six and one-half minutes left to play, they (Ascension Catholic) went into a stall game and it took them out of their rhythm as we forced turnovers which brought about a shift in momentum of which we capitalized on.”

Katie Sonnier and Brittany Broussard fueled the Lady Tigers charge with outstanding play on both ends of the court.

Rallying behind the Han-son partisan home crowd _ many who were wearing T-shirts with make your own luck printed on them _ the resilient Hanson Lady Tigers dug deep and put forth an incredible 22-8 fourth quarter run which caused the Lady Bulldogs to bow in submission. The 14-point swing in the final period enabled the Hanson Lady Tigers to rally for a sensational victory.

With 3:42 showing on the clock in the third stanza, Katie Sonnier completed the old-fashioned 3-point play on a steal with a subsequent lay-up and free throw as the Lady Tigers trimmed the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to 41-32.

“Our composure was excellent,” Cole said of the Lady Tigers. “Every time we were down we kept our composure and started attacking the basket which got us back into the game.”

A short time after Jordynn Brown pumped in a trey to hand Ascension Catholic a 44-32 advantage, Hanson’s Brittany Broussard answered by going to the glass for a layup, slicing the lead to 44-34 with 3.5 ticks remaining in the third quarter.

Broussard, who saved her greater heroics for later, scored on a layup at the 7:45 mark of the fourth quarter to help HMS trail ACHS by eight points at 44-36.

Just when the Hanson Lady Tigers’ offense began heating up, the Lady Tigers displayed a claw-sharpening defense which quickly took the bite out the Lady Bulldogs.

Hanson’s Lady Tigers forced the Lady Bulldogs into three consecutive turnovers in the opening stretch of the final period as Katie Sonnier and Kim Sonnier asserted themselves to lead HMS on a 4-0 run, closing the gap to 44-40 with 4:44 remaining.

Katie Sonnier made good on the second of two free throws before swiping the inbound pass of which Kim Sonnier pumped in a 3-pointer, bringing the Lady Tigers within four points at 44-40.

After Emily Sonnier pilfered a pass, Broussard nearly capped an outstanding night with the first of her “Plus One” performances. Broussard drained a three pointer off the dish from Emily Sonnier, helping the HMS Lady Tigers whittle the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to one point at 44-43 with 4:28 remaining.

Shortly after another turnover, Brown led her team down the floor for a short jumper which sent the Lady Bulldogs ahead by a 46-43 margin with 3:50 left to play.

After both teams traded turnovers, the Hanson Lady Tigers assumed control by closing out the victory with a 13-6 run punctuated with key shooting and vice-grip defense.

Hanson’s Haley Bollinger intercepted a pass before Katie Sonnier drained the second of two free throws as the Lady Tigers trailed the Lady Bulldogs by two points at 46-44 with clock showing 2:54 to play.

Emily Sonnier and Bollinger made steals, setting up the Lady Tigers’ game-tying opportunity at the 2:10 mark of the hectic fourth quarter.

Bollinger recorded an assist as Emily Sonnier canned the shot which knotted the game at 46-all with 2:10 left to play.

Ascension Catholic’s Kyra Jones scored on a short jumper to give the Lady Bulldogs a 48-46 lead of which Hanson’s Katie Sonnier quickly answered, tying the game at 48-48.

After Bollinger gained control of a loose basketball following an errant shot, Broussard once again went to her bag of tricks to hand the Lady Tigers a magical 51-48 lead with 55.6 seconds showing on the clock.

Broussard was good on a close range basket of which she followed up with the subsequent free throw, giving the Hanson Lady Tigers a heart-clutching 51-48 advantage with 55.6 ticks remaining.

Kim Sonnier connected on the second of two free throws as the Lady Tigers widened their lead to four points at 52-48 with 40.2 second left to play.

ACHS’ Brown once again brought the Lady Bulldogs back with consecutive freebies as the Hanson Memorial Lady Tigers nursed a 52-50 lead.

Hanson’s Emily Sonnier closed out the hard-fought contest with a 4-0 run as she went a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe to end the game with the Lady Tigers earning the comeback 56-52 Class A bidistrict playoff victory over Ascension Catholic.

Katie Sonnier tossed in a game-high 19 points to propel the Hanson Lady Tigers. She connected on a pair of treys, five field goals and 3 of 5 free throws.

Emily Sonnier cashed in on 14 points, nailing down five floor baskets along with a perfect 4 for 4 from the line.

Brittany Broussard polished off the Hanson Lady Tigers double digit scorers with 10 points on one 3-pointer, three deuces and 1 of 2 freebies.

Kim Sonnier connected on one trey, one deuce and 2 of 4 free throws while Macie Guillotte pumped in a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter to round out the Lady Tigers scorers.

Brown and Rae Shawn Melancon led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points apiece while Jones added eight points for Ascension Catholic.

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