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Elysian Fields Lady Jackets look to get over second-round hump

By Nathan Hague
Feb. 17, 2017 at 4 a.m.

Elysian Fields senior guards Chloe White, left, and Alexis Hayes hope to lead the Lady Jackets past the second round with a win over Winnsboro tonight.

Today is game day which means the Elysian Fields Lady Jackets will be going through their pregame routine.

"We get out at 11," senior point guard Alexis Hayes said. "We take naps. That's our game-day ritual. We have to take a nap, then me, Chloe, and Jade (Barge) and Sammy (Spears), we always have to talk before the game."

"We always have to sit in the same seats (on the bus going to the game)," fellow senior point guard Chloe White added.

"We are very superstitious," Hayes added. "We always have to stretch before we pray, weird stuff like that."

Whatever it is they've been doing seems to be working seeing as they're in the second round of the playoffs with an overall record of 21-8.

"We haven't gone past the second round with us in high school and it hasn't been done here in a long time before then," Hayes said.

"Our goal is always state because, what's the point if your goal isn't to get there," White said.

In order to advance to the third round, the Lady Jackets will have to defeat the Winnsboro Lady Raiders who are coming off a 56-36 first-round win over Redwater.

"They're kind of a lot like us," Hayes said of the Lady Raiders. "They have quick people and they're aggressive like we are. They have shooters. They can drive. They're about the same. It's going to be a good matchup."

"I expect them to press the whole game," Elysian Fields head coach Wayne Carter said. "They're pretty young. They've got of girls who are sophomores but they're really aggressive and pretty good. They want you to turn the ball over and I think we're bigger inside. If we can get the ball inside, I think that's favorable for us. We just can't let them make a run on us on turning the ball over and getting easy baskets. We need to make things as hard on them as it can be. We need to slow the game down a little bit."

The Lady Jackets advanced to the second round by beating Sabine 42-29 in bi-district, and even though they pulled out a win, they were far from satisfied.

"We really weren't celebrating because we played bad," Hayes said. "It wasn't our best game. Shots weren't falling, stuff like that. It was kind of like, 'Yeah we won. We have to get ready. We have to play better than this or Winnsboro will beat us.'"

"We played defense well but we couldn't score," Carter said. "We really struggled in the first half and in the second half too really. We played solid defense I thought, held them to 29 points.

"It was 18-13 at halftime and Chloe, has about a two-points-per-game-scoring average," Carter continued. "She does a lot of other things for us but she had 11 in the first half. She kept us in the game. We played them earlier and they had done some things to take away other girls and left her open so she made the most of it. She was definitely my player of the game. Alexis brings speed and defensive intensity. She scores about six points per game and she's like a second point guard with Chloe. They both kind of share that role. She's fast and intense."

"Coach (Carl) Reed (former coach of the Lady Jackets who retired after last season), our sophomore and junior year, he always said we were good enough to go to state," White said. "Even though he left, we're trying to go."

"This year, we got a new coach and we were a little nervous about it at first but he's been good and we're going to try to get him a championship," Hayes said.

"We've got to get past the second round first though," White added.

Carter said, for the sake of his six seniors, he hopes to help lead the Lady Jackets to a victory tonight.

"I want to win it bad," he said. "Their goal was to get past the second round. We knew it would be tough no matter who we played. That was their goal. They've reached the second round for a couple years and haven't been able to crack it. If we can it would be a big booster for these seniors."

Tonight's game is slated for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff at Hughes Springs.

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