Skip to main content

Peabody girls knock off crosstown rival Bolton, clinch first state tournament trip since 2007

Lady Warhorses rally from early 7-0 deficit to end Lady Bears' Cinderella run

By LaMar Gafford 

Photo of Peabody senior La'traniece McNeill (3) shooting a 3-pointer during the Lady Warhorses' 38-29 win against Bolton in the Division II select quarterfinals Thursday

ALEXANDRIA, La. - As one Alexandria city team’s Cinderella run ended, its crosstown rival celebrated the end of a lengthy state tournament drought.

Rallying from an early hole, Peabody defeated Bolton, 38-29, in the Division II select girls quarterfinals Thursday. With the win, the Lady Warhorses are heading to next week's LHSAA girls Marsh Madness Tournament in Hammond for the first time since 2007.

“This was what we wanted. We wanted this matchup,” Peabody coach Gary Stewart said. “It excited everybody (in Alexandria) and I think this was good for the city, Peabody and Bolton.

"I tip my hat off to Coach (Antonio) Keller and Bolton. It was a great battle.”

SBLive Louisiana Top 25 girls basketball rankings: Action heating up with quarterfinal playoff games

Peabody fell behind 7-0 early in the game, but senior La’traniece “Moonie” McNeill quickly evened the score with a pair of 3-pointers to help it get on a 9-2 run. McNeill made four 3-pointers and scored 16 points to will her team to a win.

“Chemistry played a (big factor) during the second half,” McNeill said. “We just stayed locked in and did the task that was at hand.”

Bolton continued to keep things close and trailed by one, 24-23, with 4:16 left in the third quarter. But, it only scored six points in the final 12 minutes of the contest.

Check It Out: Peabody girls defeat Teurlings Catholic after strong second half in Division II select regional playoff

The only shot the Lady Bears made during that stretch was a 3-pointer by junior guard Dani’K Payne in the closing seconds.

“It took everything, we couldn’t leave anything on the table,” Stewart said. “We just kept fighting and hustling. We kept believing in each other and it paid off for us.”

Vote now: Who should be SBLive's Louisiana high school athlete of the week?

Bolton faced adversities this season such as forfeiting three games at the start of the season and a four-game losing streak during District 2-3A play, but regrouped to make its first quarterfinal appearance since 2003 after defeating Washington-Marion and Northside.

The Lady Bears will lose an important piece in LSU-Alexandria commit Sky Montgomery, but Montgomery shone in her final game with a team-high 13 points. Sophomore Na’Tisha Monroe added 10 points.

Bolton senior Sky Montgomery (13) dribbles down the floor during the Lady Bears' loss to Peabody on Thursday. 

Bolton senior Sky Montgomery (13) dribbles down the floor during the Lady Bears' loss to Peabody on Thursday. 

Up next for Peabody will be facing Lafayette Christian and junior Jada Richard in the Division II select semifinals. The time and date has yet to be determined.

“To build this legacy with this group is really special,” McNeill said.