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Lady Commodores basketball win Region Tournament, clinch playoff bye

For the fourth consecutive season, the Lafayette girls have won their regional tournament. Friday night, the Lady Commodores beat West Point 62-46 to claim the Class 5A Region 2 crown, securing themselves a first round bye in the state playoffs in the process.

Despite going 3-0 on the season against West Point, it’s a team the Lady Commodores have struggled with a bit this year. In their 26-3 season, Lafayette has simply blown out dozens of opponents, but every game with West Point has been a battle. It’s something the Lafayette coaching staff really hasn’t been able to pin down exactly why.

“We’ve got a block for some reason against West Point,” said head coach Shayne Linzy. “The way they play defense, it doesn’t rattle us but it takes us out of our normal rhythm.”

Linzy described the third meeting between the schools as “not their best game” but said the girls played well against a team they’ve struggled with.

Azariah Buford packed the stat sheet in the championship game, compiling 16 points and 10 rebounds while also getting at least five steals, blocks and assists. Linzy was also very impressed with the play of freshman point guard Karizma Norphlet. The smallest girl on the court, she took two critical charges at big moments for the Commodores, something that caused momentum to shift and energize the team.

With the win Lafayette secures a first round bye in the state playoffs, giving the team extra time for rest and scouting. They won’t play again until next Friday.

“To be honest, I think the bye is really important,” Linzy said. “You weight the positives with not playing for a week, but we’ll have tough practices and the rest is always a good thing.”