Warren Easton overwhelms MCHS

Morgan City High School fell in first-round action to Warren Easton Thursday, 85-30. Above, Morgan City’s Casey Chenevert attempts a layup during regular season action.

By CORWIN MURRAY

NEW ORLEANS — Morgan City made its first postseason appearance since 2009 but ran into a talented Warren Easton squad Thursday, losing 85-30 in Class 4A first-round girls’ basketball action.
Easton (31-3), the second-ranked team in Class 4A, had three players in double figures.
The Lady Eagles jumped on the Lady Tigers right off the bat, forcing turnovers with their full-court pressure. When Easton was getting layups, they were pounding Morgan City on the offensive boards. The Lady Eagles led 23-9 after the first quarter.
“We gave good effort, but you can tell that the pressure and the atmosphere got to us,” Morgan City coach Anthony Garrison said. “But effort wise, I’m very, very proud of them. They played hard until the end. I wanted to use this game, win, lose or draw, to get some much needed experience that way in the future when we’re here, it won’t be such a shock to play in tough places like this. ”
The bright spot for MCHS (14-10), the 31st-seed, was freshman Laqwajhia Bourgeois.
Bourgeois was the team’s leading scorer with 15 despite giving up considerable size in the post.
“Once again, Laqwajhia played really big for us,” Garrison said. “We saw great potential in her early on, and as the season went on, we pushed her and she responded.”
Towering over Bourgeois in the post was Easton’s standout 6-foot-3 center Alisha Celestine, a University of Memphis signee. Celestine finished with 16 points.
By the half, Easton had extended the lead to 45-15. The top first-half scorers were Shaniqua Tobias with 16, while Celestine had 10 and standout guard Lawriell Wilson had nine. Bourgeois led Morgan City with nine, while Casey Chenevert added four.
In the third quarter, Wilson, the Lady Eagles’ leading scorer averaging 21 points per game, began to take over. She scored 15 third-quarter points to push Easton to a comfortable 70-24 lead.
“I wasn’t happy with our free-throw shooting and defensive rebounding,” Warren Easton coach Darius Mims said. “I try to keep them on task with the little things that can beat you when you get deep into the playoffs, but other than that, the rest speaks for its self. I didn’t know much about Morgan City but their kids played hard.”
Easton had been ranked No.1 most of the season until losing to Salmen, 52-50, Feb. 8. Salmen is now the No.1 seed going into the playoffs.
Wilson led the Lady Eagles with 24 points while Tobias had 20, Celestine 16 and Troya Biglow, eight. Bourgeois led Morgan City with 15 while Chenevert had 11. Steveiyon Walker and Nakerial Bourgeois added two points each.
It was the final game for the Lady Tigers’ lone senior, Kaylyn Washington.
“Kaylyn has been huge for us,” Garrison said. “She has been the big sister of this team, she kept everyone grounded and she led by example.”
Washington, despite the lopsided loss, said she was proud of this year’s team.
“I like this year’s team,” she said. “We had more chemistry and we enjoyed the season. It’s great to make the playoffs in my senior year after not making it my first three years, I’m happy.”

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