Second half costs RHS girls outright district crown

The Ruston Lady Bearcats won’t win District 2-5A outright, not after stumbling Tuesday night at West Monroe 42-27.

But they can still claim at least a share of the district crown Friday night by beating West Ouachita in the regular-season finale at home Friday evening at 5:30.

RHS handled West Monroe 44-33 last month in Ruston, but faltered after halftime Tuesday night. Down 21-18 at halftime, the Lady Bearcats went ice cold and West Monroe took control.

In the boys game, the Bearcats (15-6, 3-5) threatened to upset the state’s No. 4 team (15-3, 6-0) but the 18th-ranked Ruston squad fell just short, 54-51. RHS is home Friday night at 7.

Also Tuesday night, Cedar Creek’s girls (17-3 overall) lived up to their No. 3 ranking in Division IV and clobbered Sicily Island 55-10 on the road in a District 2-1A game.

After making a strong run at a good Quitman team Friday night, Choudrant’s girls (14-10, 2-2) posted a 45-38 road win at Simsboro (8-9, 2-3) in a 2-B district battle between the 14th-ranked Lady Aggies and the No. 18 Lady Tigers. It was quite a turnaround from an 85-50 Simsboro win last month at Choudrant.

Lincoln Prep’s girls scored a 32-28 win over District 1-A rival Haynesville.

In boys action, Simsboro’s dominant run continued at home in a 94-40 rout of Choudrant. The Tigers (20-1, 5-0), ranked second in Class B, won their 13th straight overall this season. The Aggies fell to 13-9 overall, 2-3 in district.

Ruston’s girls (20-7 overall, 6-2 in district) entered Tuesday’s game No. 9 in the LHSAA state power rankings, while West Monroe (12-5, 6-2) stood 17th. But the homecourt advantage was very distinct.

First, credit West Monroe for playing very hard and executing their game plan,” said RHS coach Meredith Graf. “Tonight was just not our night. We struggled to capitalize on their turnovers and to finish in transition when they pressed.

“Playing at West Monroe is never easy, but it’s a good preparation for a playoff game. We have to learn our lessons from tonight and turn our focus to our last district game against West Ouachita,” she said.

The girls state playoff brackets come out Monday, and Ruston will be in the Class 5A mix.

Photo: Ruston HS

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