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Contributing Writer

The North Central High girls’ basketball team has arrived at a familiar destination.

For the fifth time since 2015 the Hurricanes are in the Class 1A semifinals and playing for a state championship.

North Central qualified for the semifinal round again on Thursday night as the Hurricanes used a strong second half to defeat Grand Lake (51-40) in a quarterfinal round contest at LeBeau.

The win enables the No. 2 Hurricanes to meet third-seeded White Castle Monday at 2 p.m. inside the University Center on the Southeastern Louisiana University campus in Hammond.

White Castle beat No. 6 East Iberville 42-38 in another Class 1A quarterfinal –round game Thursday night.

Top-seeded Northwood-Lena and No. 4 Merryville are the other remaining teams in Class 1A. Those two programs meet Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the other classification semifinal.

Examining White Castle

Taylor was reviewing game tape of White Castle Friday afternoon.

“I just started breaking everything down and it looks like White Castile has a good guard and from what we have seen, White Castle likes to press and run. I’m also seeing them play a little man-to-man,” Taylor said.

White Castle like North Central received a first round bye. After that WHS defeated No. 14 Delta Charter (65-37) before advancing to play East Iberville.

During their playoff run the Hurricanes have also beaten No. 15 Montgomery 81-51.

Thinking Positively

Taylor said the Hurricanes can reach the championship game March 4 in Hammond.

“We believe we can get to the finals. At one point the girls were a little discouraged, but we have three girls (Ya’Jaia Goudeau, Katelyn Harrison and Destiny Davis) who were on our team (in 2020) when we won the state championship. I think that gives us an edge,” Taylor said.

Goudeau and Harrison have each scored over 1,000 points in their North Central careers, said Taylor.

Playing Grand Lake

Harrison and Goudeau combined for 39 points in the win over No. 10 Grand Lake.

Grand Lake’s Kelli Ledoux scored 20. Ledoux scored 12 points off three-point attempts.

North Central led Grand Lake 13-4 at the end of the first period, but fell behind 20-18 at halftime.

“We switched our defenses in the second half. First we went to a different type of zone. Then we went to half court pressure where we were able to get some turnovers,” Taylor said.