VPHS girls brace for playoff matchup against St James
Rhonda Thomas has already faced St. James.
During her senior senior season at Ville Platte High School, Thomas helped the Lady Bulldogs into the second round of the Class 2A playoffs. Ville Platte took on St. James in the second round and the result is one Thomas has yet to forget, a 104-67 defeat.
Thomas and Ville Platte High will get another shot at St. James in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs. No. 19 Ville Platte (10-9) plays at No. 14 St. James (10-4) on Friday. Tip is set for 6 p.m.
"Ironically St. James was the last team I played in high school and the first team that I get to face in the playoffs as a head coach," Thomas said. "Life is like a circle. Hopefully this time the outcome will be much different."
After having four games wiped out due to COVID-19 contact tracing, Ville Platte was able to get a few games under its belt before the postseason. Thomas likes what she has seen from her team in the past few weeks.
"I feel we're excited and ready," Thomas said. "We've been through tough battles over the course of the season that has prepared us for the first time of year."
Those lost games likely cost Ville Platte a home playoff game. The Bulldogs were a mere 0.95 power points behind No. 16 Westlake in the final LHSAA power rankings.
Thomas actually doesn't mind where Ville Platte landed in the bracket.
"I'm okay with where we are in the bracket," Thomas said. "We're actually in the same place as last year. It doesn't matter about placement for the most part, especially this year with COVID affecting many teams' true placement.
"It's not about where you're placed, its' about getting a chance to play. Because at any given night, any team can be beat."
What about the team that will take the court on Friday against Ville Platte? Thomas admits her team will need to play their best to advance.
"They are a bigger team in size compared to us," Thomas said. "Challenges will be to control the boards and the pace of the game. We definitely can't let their size intimate us. They also are aggressive in their defensive pressure. We have to be ready to play hard and work as a team to get the victory."