St. Mary’s enters district play following Covid hiatus

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Ladies fall 53-47 to Logansport

Tiger and Lady Tiger basketball started their season in earnest with the conclusion of the football season. The Tigers lost Thomas Howell to graduation and are in a rebuilding year and the Lady Tigers are the defending Division IV State Champions. While the men have struggled in the early portion of the season, the Ladies have continued their winning ways.
The Lady Tigers started with a loss to Quitman and then had wins over Menard and 5-A Airline, a huge boost to their confidence and a spotlight on their potential.
A Loss to Lakeview five days later reigned in some of that excitement. Several scheduled games were cancelled toward the end of the year, but the Lady Tigers finished up with solid wins over Rapides and Ringgold.
Saint Mary’s girls went undefeated in district last year and finished the regular season at 22-4 before ascending the summit to win State. Currently with a 5-3 record, the ladies will start district play after a quarantine period. They are sitting in the #4 spot in Division IV. The Lady Tiger starters have posted the following numbers before the quarantine shutdown.
Jensen Parker 10.4 PPG, 6.2 APG and 2.9 RPG
Kelsee Bienvenu 15.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG
Ava Errington 8.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 2.4 APG
Kenzie Lipa 9.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 3.3 APG
Cameron Bienvenue 4.6 PPG, 8.0 RPG
Tigers boast 40-28 win Tuesday
The boys have struggled from the opening tip this season and only have one notch in the victory column. They suffered defeat at cross lake and parish rival Lakeview, Dec. 8. In that contest, a Lakeview player later tested positive for the Covid-19 virus and that subsequently caused a hiatus in action for the Tigers as they completed a quarantine period due to contact tracing and exposure protocols.
Fast forward three weeks and another shutdown of both Saint Mary’s teams (men and ladies) due to the increased spread and continued rising numbers of Covid-19 cases and mandatory quarantine due to possible exposure of most of the high school. Those two shutdowns halted practice for the squads, and it remains to be seen if it affects their performance in upcoming District play. They opened District competition Tuesday, Jan. 19 against Logansport at home then have two away games. They make up the Northwood game Thursday and finish the week on the road at Montgomery. Three district games in a week will test the Tigers and Lady Tigers to see what they are made of.
Coach DeAndre Benton remains optimistic about his teams and is looking to seniors Tristen Mitchell and Dane Files to be big players down the stretch. In the few games that the Tigers have played, Ben Bienvenu has posted some impressive numbers averaging a double/double 16 points and 12 rebounds a game. Mitchell is probably out till the Friday game with an ankle injury.
D.J. Ridley will likely get plenty of playing minutes with Tristen out and has a chance to aid the team.