ST. MARTIN -- Daphane White recorded her second consecutive triple double -- and 10th on the year -- to lead St. Martin to a 58-39 win over D'Iberville in girls high school Tuesday.
White scored a game-high 20 points to go along with 15 rebounds and 11 blocks. Not only does the Yellow Jackets sophomore give her team an offensive threat in the paint, but her defense alters the way other teams play.
"There are not too many girls along the Coast who can challenge her one-on-one," said St. Martin coach Gina Bell.
The challenge of altering the opponents' offense by blocking shots is something White enjoys.
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"I really like blocking shots," she said. "It gets my blood pumping and gets my team excited."
D'Iberville coach Renee Ladner said her team's objective was to control White and Savannah Jones and keep Deona Morgan from being a presence inside.
"We did that about half the time," she said. "We couldn't contain White."
And they fouled Morgan, Ladner said, allowing her to get her points off the free throw line. However, they held Jones to five points in the game.
"Any time we made a mental mistake, they had the opportunity to score," Ladner said. "(St. Martin) is a very good basketball team."
St. Martin (21-2, 5-0) started slowly, turning the ball over five times in the first three minutes and missing their first three shots. However, the Yellow Jackets defense was solid and prevented D'Iberville (7-12, 1-3) from making an early run.
"Mercedes Brown was all over the floor," Bell said. Although Brown didn't do a lot that showed in the book, Bell said Brown's defensive play set the tone for the Yellow Jackets defense.
With Brown setting the defensive tone, White and Morgan went to work inside to spark a 12-2 run over the last five minutes of the first quarter to give St. Martin a 12-6 lead going into the second quarter.
Ashley Pham's 3-pointer with 3:31 left in the first gave St. Martin a 7-4 lead, a lead they would hold and build the rest of the game.
The Yellow Jackets would build a 10-point lead early in the second quarter, taking control of the game with an 8-0 run over the last 2:30 of the first half behind five points from White, taking a 28-13 lead into halftime.
Morgan finished with 14 points for St. Martin and Brown added eight points and 10 rebounds. Casey Ferguson scored 14 for D'Iberville, with Laniya Cronan scoring 12 points.
St. Martin 51, D'Iberville 48
The Yellow Jackets appear to have corrected their post-Disney slump, winning their second consecutive district game, taking a close 51-48 win over district leader D'Iberville in boys high school basketball Tuesday.
Stacee St. Julian pulled out the win for the Yellow Jackets (16-7, 3-2), scoring his team's last six points in the final 1:14. After D'Iberville's Malik Hubbard missed the second of two free throws with five seconds left, St. Julian pulled down the defensive rebound and pressed up the court, picking up the foul for the one-and-one. He hit both free throws to push St. Martin's lead to three, 51-48.
"He didn't panic," said St. Martin coach Charlie Pavlus of his senior guard. "He was calm the whole time. We've been there before. Hopefully our experience is starting to show up."
"It's a toss up," said D'Iberville coach Lorenzo Wright. "If we play again (in the district tournament), it will be another tough game. This game came down to who had it last and who could find a way to win it."
Dillyn Neely's desperation three-quarters' court shot for D'Iberville bounced off the rim to allow St. Martin to remain undefeated in 10 home games this year.
While St. Martin appears to have reversed a trend that saw them win only one of seven games - including a five-game losing streak - following their return from Orlando, D'Iberville (16-7, 3-1) dropped their fourth game in a row after opening the season with 16 wins in 19 games. The four-game losing streak includes games to Hancock, West Harrison, and Wayne County.
None of the Warriors' losses have been by more than seven points. Wright said next Friday's game at George County would be another challenge for the Warriors. He said D'Iberville is not far from the form that saw them open the season hot.
"We have to find a way to get back together and fix our problems," Wright said. "These last two weeks have been tough on us. But the four teams that have beat us have been playoff-caliber teams. We have been in each of the games."
For Pavlus, he said his team is getting back to the form they displayed opening the season with 11 consecutive wins. "We're getting better," he said.
St. Julian and Jalen Lett each scored 19 points to lead St. Martin. Lett had a couple of key defensive rebounds in the final four minutes of the game to keep D'Iberville from pulling away.
Zach Scales led the way for D'Iberville with 16 points. Kyle Winters added 10 points and Neely finished with nine points, all on 3-pointers.