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|Ferriday wins first boys state title|
Ferriday High only scored six points in the final quarter of its Class 3A state championship game against Cecilia on March 19, 1988.
But two of those points were the difference in the ballgame, as a tip-in by junior Shawn Griggs gave the Trojans a 63-61 win over the Bulldogs and Ferriday's first boys basketball championship.
"The year before we went to the playoffs and ended up 25-5," said former Ferriday boys coach Robert Cade. "We had everybody coming back. But we did not set a goal to win a state champions. We just wanted to win as many games as we could. Now the next year we set a goal of winning State."
After Carroll Boudreaux missed the front end of a one-and-one with 23 seconds remaining and the game tied at 61-61, Trojan coach Robert Cade called a time out.
"We set it up for one shot," Cade said. "We wanted to get the ball to Shawn Davis with the option of him taking it to the goal or taking a shot. He started driving to the basket and got doubled up, so he kicked the ball back out to Anthony Brown and the other guys crashed the board."
Brown took the shot with 10 seconds remaining. The ball bounced off the front rim and Victor Henderson tipped it to Griggs, who laid it in with one second remaining to give Ferriday the win.
"Everybody was happy and jubilant," Cade said. "But then I had to turn my attention to going toward the other coach and shaking his hand. That kind of took a little of the joy out of it because he was like a shell of a person. I was happy, but at the same time I was looking at somebody who was crushed. I had to get my composure to go down there and shake hands."
"That was so great and unbelievable," Davis said. "The game should not have been that close. We slowed the ball down and probably should have run more. The last play was a simple isolation play from Coach for me to go one-on-one against my defender and get to the basket. I dribbled to the right wing and got trapped and passed the ball to Anthony Brown, who then penetrated the lane to get a fairly good shot at the basket. He missed and Victor Henderson kept it alive and Shawn Griggs followed Henderson tip to score the winning basket when no time left. That was just a supreme moment."
Davis transferred from North Natchez as a sophomore to play for his father, Robert Cade, at Ferriday.
"Due to the transfer rules, I had to sit out the 1985-86 year," Davis said. "But I used this time to practice with the team and create a bond on and off the court. This is where I felt our bid for a state championship took its roots. "
Ferriday's only losses were to North Natchez in the Jefferson County Tournament, Delta High to snap a 19-game losing streak, and Carroll. The Trojans also posted wins over Delta and Carroll.
Davis said he had a certain calmness during warm-ups.
"My mom (Betty Cade) told me she prayed a special prayer for me that morning," Davis said. "I remember hearing chatter on the floor and sideline on how fast and athletic we were. We were off and running from the 'get-go.'"
Ferriday led 24-16 after one quarter and 38-35 at halftime.
The game was tied at 42-42 in the third quarter. Ferriday led 57-49 after three quarters.
Griggs and Davis scored 23 points each. Griggs had nine rebounds, while Davis had eight boards.
The 6-foot-8 Harold Boudreaux led Cecilia with 27 points, while his brother Carroll added 20.
"They were the dream team," Cade said. "But we were in a district with Wossman, Winnsboro and Carroll and we were used to playing big games in front of big crowds. We got up by six early, but later we got in foul trouble and had to slow the ball down, which hurt us."
While playing before big crowds was nothing new, playing in a big arena was for the Ferriday team.
"I don't think there is anything that can prepare you for playing in a place like LSU with the openness," Cade said. "There was no backdrop or wall. It's a different depth perception."
Ferriday finished 30-3. The Trojans were actually ranked No. 3 in the Monroe News-Star World poll among all northeast Louisiana teams behind Ogden and Ruston.
"I really didn't see us losing three games," Davis said. "I really thought we were going to go undefeated. We just had that family mentality. We loved to practice and never stayed in the house. We were motivated to always try and get better. We all stayed together and knew we had something special. My dad kept us together and we just kept level heads and were always seeking to improve."
Ferriday dropped its first district game to Winnsboro, but defeated the Wildcats 82-62 in their second meeting with Davis leading the way with 28 points.
Ferriday also swept Wossman.
Ferriday defeated St. Martinville to reach the championship game.
"The semi final game against St. Martinville was a classic in its own right," Davis said. "The game was back and forth the whole way. I remember Shawn Griggs taking his game to an entirely different level that game. He had about 10 blocks that game. This was an entire team effort, but he carried a very big load for us that game. I was thinking, 'we have come this far, its too late to let it all slip away.' We just kept feeding Griggs the ball every possession."
Despite losing Davis, who signed with Oklahoma State, the Trojans repeated as Class 3A champions in 1989, defeating Carroll.
"To be part of the first state championship team at Ferriday High was very thrilling and it was extremely satisfying for me personally," Davis said. "To win a state championship was a goal of mine since I transferred from North Natchez to play for my dad. North was a serious state championship contender year in and year out. If I thoguht I was unable to help or contribute to a state championship run in Ferriday, I would have perhaps stayed in Natchez, coming off a season on the freshman team in which I averaged 25 points. But I wanted to be part of what my father was building in Ferriday."
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