Olivia Chiasson came off the bench for VC to score a team-high 14 points.
VC gets rid of jitters, downs Hanson
Things looked a little shaky at the start for the Vermilion Catholic Lady Eagles in the first quarter against the Hanson Lady Tigers, but then VC settled down and played like they know how to play.
The end result was a 58-48 victory over Hanson and advancing to the final four of the Division IV playoffs.
VC will play Lafayette Christian Academy on Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. in the University Center at the campus of Southeastern Louisiana.
The winner of that game will play the winner of No. 1 Houma Christian/No. 4 Southern Lab winner on Friday.
The Lady Eagles fell behind 11-3 four minutes into the game because Hanson came to play and hit outside shots.
“I got worried because we were not stepping up on our defensive side that I thought we would have ready for,” said Guidry, who won her 800th game that night. “But then those outside shots quit falling and Vermilion Catholic’s inside shots began going in. But then we settled down when the jitters went away.”
In a span of a minute, VC went from being down by seven points to tied 14-14 with 35 seconds left to play in the first quarter. The VC crowd erupted when Kylie White made a layup and converted a free throw that tied the game 14-14.
Two minutes into the second quarter, Ainsley Mallet made a shot that gave VC a 22-16 lead. It capped off a 17-5 run by the Lady Eagles.
VC pounded the inside, which led to points. The Lady Eagles led 28-20 at half time.
Hanson opened the third period on fire.. The Lady Tigers trimmed VC’s lead to two points, 30-28, with 4:25 to play in the third period.
The legendary head coach called time out to settle her girls down.
“I told them they have to play defense and they have to rebound,” Guidry said. “You have to rebound every miss ball. That is our goal so they do not get second and third attempts.”
Once again, the Lady Eagles showed character and did not panic. Jay Demouchet and Ann Catherine Gallet nailed back-to-back buckets.
Gallet, who came off the bench as a back up guard, finished with seven points, six assists and three rebounds. She dished off to Kylie White under the goal, who made the shot but was fouled.
White converted the three-point play, and VC led 37-29 with 2:34 to play in the third period.
Olivia “O” Chiasson, a senior, came off the bench and provided the spark that VC needed. She finished with a team-high 14 points.
She made four free throws in the first half and connected on four baskets in the second half.
Guidry was proud that some players off the bench (Gallet and Chiasson) came through.
“I thought they did a heck of job coming off the bench,” said Guidry. “We talk about that all year - not everyone is going to be on all year. The key is can someone step up? Some players will have a good night and some will not.”
The Hanson defense shut down VC point guard Jay Demouchet by having a player in her face all night. Guidry said “O” stepped up and provided big points for VC.
Chiasson, who is the sister of former VC player Emile Chiasson, admits she was nervous coming into Thursday’s game.
“I was pretty nervous but we played Hanson before,” she said. We knew they could shoot outside, we tried to shut them down on the outside and have them go to their inside game.”
Frith, Gallet, White and Chiasson made shots that gave VC a cushion 47-33 lead with six minutes to play in the game.
This will be Guidry’s seventh trip to the semifinals. The team went two years ago and finished second in state.
Frith, a freshman, had 11 points for VC. Other VC scorers were Demouchet (7), Mallet (6), Bella Doucet (6) and White (7).