Behind 21 points from Kerrigan Small, Leesville opened up its season with a win over Rosepine Monday night.

The Wampus Cats pulled away in the fourth quarter for their first win of the year, defeating the Eagles 61-52.

Not only was it the start of the season for Rosepine and Leesville, but it was start of new coaching jobs for both head coaches.

"I think we performed pretty well," Leesville head coach Kristi Perkins said. "Once we got the jitters out to begin the game, we got into the flow of things. We did not execute as well as I thought we would have. I had to use a different combination of my bigs because one of my guards was having foul trouble.

"We have a lot to learn. We're going to pushing and I think everyone will be surprised about the new Lady Wampus Cats."

Taylor Maricle is in her first year as the head coach of the Eagles after playing and coaching at Louisiana State University of Alexandria.

"Overall, I think we played well as a team" Maricle said about her the first game. "I'm not disappointed. We didn't hit the shots that we normally did during scrimmages. For our first game, I can't complain.

"It's different from playing and coaching college to coaching high school. I'm trying to bring speed into the high school game. We're going to play man and get up-and-down the court."

The Wampus Cats jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game, but Rosepine answered with a 10-0 run to take the lead.

"I think Rosepine ran the floor really well," Perkins said. "Their point guard (Cheyenne Vander) sees the floor really well, and they pushed it a lot. I think we were running down the floor with our backs to the ball. They were able to push the ball really well, and I think that was difference when they went on their runs."

The Eagles got their lead up to 4 midway through the second quarter –its largest lead of the game– before Leesville closed the half with a 11-3 run.

"We have to box out," Maricle said. "They were taller and bigger than us, but that doesn't make a difference. We tried to out jump them and that doesn't work when you're our size."

Leading 42-40 at the end of the third quarter, Small scored 6 of her 21 points in the final period, while the defense contained the Eagles to seal the win.

Alexis Sargent led Rosepine with 23 points including a pair of threes.

"Coming into this job, I met with the team and told them that my pet peeve is attitudes," Maricle said. "You can control your attitude and your effort. I can't brag on her enough about how much her attitude has changed. She got knocked down a few times tonight and got right back up. She's going to big part of this team this year."

Zakayla Collins finished with 19 points for Leesville with 14 coming in the second quarter.

"She performed pretty well," Perkins said. "She was hustling and getting into passing lanes. She had a really good defensive game."