Anacoco found an advantage in the paint and used it to defeat Leesville in the Vernon Parish Tournament.

Anacoco forward and tournament MVP Annabelle Sellers scored a game-high 22 points in Indians 57-41 win Saturday at Hornbeck High School

"In the beginning, when I faced up, I saw that they were pulling the first defender up and the backside was open," Sellers said. "Then I started driving.

"It means a lot. I've never gotten anything like this, and I'm really happy."

Anacoco attacked the paint and hit 18 layups in the win over Class 4A Leesville.

"They were getting to open spots and weren't standing being the defense," Leesville coach Kristi Perkins said. "They were attacking and flashing hard. Everything they did was hard and crisp.

"We had a couple of breakdowns on defense that didn't allow us to get out to shooters. Plus, having two 6-footers out on the floor is a plus for them."

Anacoco scored the first basket of the game and never trailed in its championship clinching win.

"It's an honor, for sure, and I thought the kids played really well," Anacoco coach Tim Parker said. "We're very fortunate because of the teams that are here."

The zone defense of the Indians was predicated on limiting the chances of Leesville guard Kerrigan Small at the rim. Although the defense limited her action in the paint, Small found success from deep.

"I knew most of the time that Small likes to go to basket a lot, and I thought the zone might hold her off a bit. She did shoot the ball more than in the previous game. I knew she would try to attack the basket."

Anacoco led 23-18 at half, but came out of halftime to outscore Leesville 15-8 in the third quarter.

"I told them (at halftime) that we weren't catching the ball and ready to shoot the ball," Parker said. "I use the term at practice 'load up,'" Parker said. "We weren't doing that. We were flat footed. I knew shots were going to have a better chance to fall if we caught it ready to shoot the basketball.

"Defensively, I didn't think we were moving fast enough, laterally."

Leading 38-26 at the end of the third quarter, Anacoco was able to hold off the Wampus Cats in the fourth to seal the win.

Small posted a team-high 15 for Leesville, while Zakayla Collins added 12.

"The girls were able to push through," Perkins said. "We have eight total girls, and I usually play about seven. We played through Charlie horses and knees that we hurting. Zakayla has an arch problem in her foot, and Kerrigan is always all over the floors, so she's really, really tired. The fact that we were able to push through Hicks, because Hicks is such a running team and we're not, that was a plus. It just shows them that they can push through adversity.

"We're the underdog, although we have a lot of people pushing for us. We should be the best because we're a 4A school, but with as inexperienced as we are, we're not as equipped as the rest of the teams. I'm still very proud of the girls for getting second in the parish."

Anacoco got to the championship game after defeating Simpson 44-32 earlier in the day.

"In all honestly, I didn't think it would effect us, but it did," Parker said. "Especially, some of our shooters, because they were coming up short."

Ellie MacDonald led the Indians with 15 points in the win, while Simpson got 10 points from Sarah Flatt, with six coming in the fourth quarter.

Leesville defeated Hicks 48-43 in the second girls semifinal on Saturday.

Collins scored a game-high 25 points for the Wampus Cats, while Chloe Wilbanks dropped 23 points for the Hicks.