Photo: North Central High Senior girls Ya’jaia, Destiny Davis and Katelyn Harrison. Photo by BOBBY ARDOIN.
As her high school basketball career heads towards a conclusion, Ya’Jaia Goudeau is making sure the ending is shrouded in superlatives.
The North Central senior scored a game-high 31 points Monday as the second-seeded Hurricanes reached the Class 1A girls’ championship game with a 60-57 victory over No. 3 White Castle at the University Center on the Southeastern Louisiana University campus.
North Central (22-8), meets top-seeded Northwood-Lena for a chance to win a third girls’ title since 2015 in a Friday 4 p.m. matchup.
Northwood-Lena reached the championship game with an 82-35 win over fourth-seeded Merryville on Tuesday afternoon.
Goudeau was a key factor offensively against White Castle (12-12), especially in the fourth quarter when the Hurricanes scored 21 points.
NCHS girls’ basketball coach Vanessa Taylor predicted her seniors would help carry the ‘Canes into a championship game and Goudeau’s 12 fourth quarter points helped Taylor’s pre-game forecast to become a reality.
Goudeau scored 12 during the final eight minutes and finished the game making 10 of 16 field goals while adding 11 of 16 points from the free throw line.
In addition Goudeau provided 10 steals.
Seniors Destiny Davis (9 points) and Katelyn Harrison (8) were the other key scorers for North Central.
North Central enabled White Castle to remain viable offensively as the Hurricanes committed 26 turnovers.
The Hurricanes led 29-21 at halftime and started the fourth quarter ahead in the one possession game (39-37).
White Castle shot only 34 percent from the field, while the North Central made 22-of-44 attempted shots. Success from the three-point line also evaded White Castle (2-of-19).
Cambrieion Link and Aailyah Young each had 16 points for White Castle.