A time to shine for Lady Jays
The Lady Jays have earned a playoff spot for the fifth straight year and the St. Edmund head coach Erica Zaunbrecher along with her sole senior Kinsley Marcantel hope their season can continue with several more wins.
“When the team makes the playoffs they can see all their hard work paid off,” Zaunbrecher said. “They can enjoy going into the post season knowing they earned it – it wasn’t handed to them.”
No. 11 St. Edmund (13-12) travels to No. 6 St. Martin’s (18-10) for a LHSAA Division IV regional round contest.
With a win, the Lady Jays would take on No. 3 Metairie Park Country Day, a 65-50 winner against No. 14 St. John.
“I think our speed and transition play is going to help us against a bigger team,” the coach said. “I like to change things up on defense and that will hopefully help in the game.
“If we just play our game and stay consistent on both offense and defense, then it is very winnable for us.”
For Marcantel, this is her fourth playoffs and Zaunbrecher is proud of how Kinsley has progressed since she joined the program as a freshman.
“She has natural ball sense,” Zaunbrecher said. “She instinctively knows what they are doing on defense so she knows where to go.
“She can pick off the other team’s passes and is a great leader on the court.”
“The team seems to look and see how she is doing,” the coach said. “They feed off of her – as she goes, they go.
“As soon as she gets a steal, it boosts all their self esteem,” Zaunbrecher said. “When she makes one of her three’s, they go ballistic.”
Marcantel said she loves being on the court surrounded by her teammates.
“When I get aggravated I know that brings my team down,” she said. “I try to be as positive as I can be,” she said. “I want the team to do their best.”
Marcantel said she knows this is her last playoff run and she wants to play her best games of the season.
“I think we are ready,” she said. “I want to be a leader and help my team win.
“I pushed hard all my years but especially this one because the four years have gone by so really fast,” Marcantel said.
Marcantel said she learned from all the seniors before her and that helped improve her game each season.
“I picked up on a lot of stuff and I do what I do because of them,” she said. “As a senior now I know the others follow what I am doing.”
In 2017, the No. 9 Lady Jays earned a first round bye, but fell 64-37 to No. 8 Ascension Christian.
In the 2018 playoffs, No. 15 St. Edmund rolled to a 55-21 win over No. 18 St. Fredrick before losing in the regionals to No. 2 Houma Christian, 74-40.
Last season, the No. 16 Lady Jays opened the playoffs with a 45-32 victory over No. 17 Sacred Heart.
St. Edmund’s season ended with a 55-20 defeat to eventual state champion Lafayette Christian.
“They enjoy being around each other on and off the court,” Zaunbrecher said of the team. “They all have a drive to work hard and win ball games.
“Losing to Mamou (final home game) wasn’t in our plans,” the coach said. “But when you have teammates bawling because they wanted to win on Senior Night for Kinsley, that is touching because it shows they care.”
Marcantel averaged 11.3 points per game this season to go with four rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals and one blocked shot per contest.
“She is a very good coach and she is there for us even out of basketball,” Marcantel said of her coach. “She pushes you to do your best and I love playing for her.”