HAUGHTON – For the second time this season, the Minden Lady Tiders were able to pose alongside a tournament championship trophy, their customary “4’s” in the air in memory of their deceased classmate and former AAU teammate Taz’Dariun Harris.
It’s a tradition that started in December 2016 following Minden’s thrilling 68-66 win over the Evangel Lady Eagles in the championship game of the Minden Holiday Classic, and one that Jacob Brown and the Lady Tiders hope will find its way to Alexandria the first weekend in March at Girls Marsh Madness.
Minden dominated the Haughton Lady Bucs 74- 40 for the Jack Clayton Invitational championship, and they made it look ridiculously easy.
The last time the game was competitive came around the midway mark of the first quarter when Brown called a timeout to talk strategy against the Lady Bucs’ press. The Lady Tiders came out of that timeout on a 12-0 run to end the first quarter and finished the half on a 30-8 run, putting the championship game out of reach by halftime at 46-18.
“We were able to create some turnovers and separate from them midway through the first quarter,” Brown said. “We played well in the tournament this weekend. I credit these girls. Each time they step on the court their mindset is to do things right and at a high level, not for a few trips up and down the floor, but the whole game.”
Minden junior Bre Rodgers had her best game of the season, finishing with 25 points and hitting a trio of 3-pointers to really break Haughton’s back in the second half. Fellow junior Destini Powell, who took on some added minutes with Derrica Gilbert sitting out the contest with an injury, pitched in 13 points in a dominant performance on the glass.
Sha’Terra “Strawberry” Batton reached double figures with 11 points, while Tayler Banks, Sha Whiting and Jazzmyn White each added 6 points.
To reach the championship game, Minden defeated the current topranked team in the LHSAA’s Class 4A power ratings West Ouachita 63- 28. Minden is dominating teams defensively as opposing offenses have no answer for Rodgers’ length, Batton, Whiting and Whitney Aubrey’s speed or the physicality in the paint provided by Powell, Gilbert, White and Banks.
Brown’s leadership combined with a complete roster has helped Minden go a resounding 34-5 in the team’s last 39 games, one of the best runs in school history.
Class 4A should be concerned with the Lady Tiders come playoff time, but there’s a long way to go until then.
Minden gets back in action Tuesday with a road contest against the Airline Lady Vikings in this week’s only varsity action.