Lafayette girls advance in Class 5A basketball playoffs with win over Ridgeland

Published 8:31 pm Monday, February 22, 2021

Lafayette’s girls basketball program is no stranger to the postseason, but for a majority of the current roster it is a new experience for them.

The Lady Commodores did not look fazed by the environment or from the 10 day layoff in their 49-38 win over Ridgeland at Lafayette High School in the first round of the MHSAA Class 5A state playoffs on Monday.

Due to Winter Storms Uri and Viola that rolled through Mississippi last week, the playoffs for a majority of the teams were delayed a week. With school campuses closed last week, Lafayette had only one day of practice in the gym before opening up the playoffs.

“I thought we started off really well then we kind of went through a little bit of a lull then we took it off, then went through a little bit of a lull,” said Lafayette head coach Shayne Linzy of his team’s start. “For a lot of those girls, playoffs are new for them. We go to the playoffs every year, but for that group it is kind of new for them. Especially with them being the ones who have to do the dirty work. Have to do the scoring.”

A key difference in the game was Lafayette’s ability to hit the three-point shot. Whenever Ridgeland would get to within a handful of points, Lafayette would string together a couple three-pointers to create some distance again.

The Lady ‘Dores, who are not known for their long-range prowess, shot 46 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-15) against Ridgeland. Shybrya Pettis led the way, hitting four of her five three-point attempts to finish with a team-high 17 points.

“The three-pointer is something we’ve struggled with all year. All year,” Linzy said. “That’s a shot that we’ve got to have in our arsenal and tonight it was falling.”

Karizma Norphlet finished with a double-double, scoring 13 points and recording 10 assists. Lafayette made 14 shots from the floor and all 14 came from an assist.

Looking for the next pass has been a staple of the Lady Commodores DNA this year, which blends well with Linzy’s offensive scheme.

“The offense is made to get an open shot. After that it’s (on them),” Linzy said. “Girls knocked them down tonight. …I’m proud of the girls and just the fight. Being undersized and they kept fighting all night.”

Lafayette will travel to Columbus on Wednesday for a second round matchup.