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|Poole, Abron lead girls team|
It was a hard lesson to learn, but one well-learned at that.
Ferriday junior guard Chante Poole missed two games at the start of the 2009-10 basketball season for breaking team rules.
"It was hard, but it taught me a lesson," Poole said. "When I came back to play it made me more focused."
"I think that was a wake-up call for Chante," said Ferriday girls coach Lisa Abron. "I think it made her mature and realize her role. In 14 years I never had to discipline a kid for breaking the rules and I hated to do it. But I had to take a stand and I couldn't accept that, especially from someone everyone looked up to as a leader and what she meant to the team. She had to watch from the bench and it was very hard for her, especially when we lost."
Poole went on to average 16.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists a game for the Lady Trojans, who went on to win District 2-2A and advance to the second round of the playoffs, falling to No. 5-rated John Curtis, 50-35 in New Orleans.
Ferriday defeated Springfield 50-48 in overtime in Ferriday in an opening round game.
"I thought it was a good year, but I wish we could have gone farther," Poole said.
Ferriday finished its season at 19-9. The Lady Trojans Ferriday High's girls won the District 2-2A title and were ranked No. 12 in Class 2A going into the playoffs, leading Poole and Abron to repeat as Player and Coach of the Year, respectively.
Despite losing twin towers in daughter Jasmine Upchurch (6-1) and Ja'Lessia Davis (6-3), Abron never talked about rebuilding.
"I think that would have been an insult to the girls coming back," Abron said. "They worked extra hard. And I had five seniors, so it wasn't like completely bare. What we had coming back did a great job. We didn't have the height we had last year, but the girls did a tremendous job. We tried to capitalize on our quickness. We set a goal of winning district again. We came up short in our other goal of going farther, but I was still very proud of the girls. A lot of people didn't expect us to compete this year."
Poole said she didn't change her style, she just had to adapt to a different style of game.
"I just went out and tried to do my thing and help us win," Poole said
Poole, who enjoyed watching Michael Jordan play while growing up, said she is going to play AAU basketball with the Mississippi Bobcats this summer.
"There are a lot of things I need to work on and I think this will help me," she said. "I know I will be counted on even more next year. I just want to do everything I can to help our team win."
Poole is joined on the all-parish team by teammates Jasmine Butler and T'Keyah Fletcher, Vidalia senior Gabrielle Wagoner and junior Christina Moore, Monterey senior Brooke Baker, Lady Wolf junior Kendall Lipsey and Monterey sophomore Ellen Bairnsfather.
Butler, a senior, averaged 15.4 points and 7.8 rebounds.
Fletcher, a junior, averaged 13.4 points and 5.0 rebounds.
Baker averaged 10 points a game and 3.0 assists before a late-season illness sidelined her for the final part of the season.
Bairnsfather averaged 11 points a game
Lipsey averaged 11.5 points a game and 8.0 rebounds for the Lady Wolves.
Wagoner averaged 13 points and 9.0 rebounds a game in her final season at Vidalia, while Moore averaged around 10 points a game.
Huntington senior Abi Brown averaged close to 15 points a game.
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