Three years after taking over the Woodlawn Lady Panther basketball program, Alicia Dedeaux has led her team to the best finish in the 75 year history of the school. Woodlawn finished the season with a record of 25-10 and played in their first State Championship Game.

It was a playoff full of firsts for the Lady Panthers. After completing the regular season with a 22-9 record, Dedeaux’s Lady Panthers earned the fifth seed in the Division I Select playoff bracket. After a first round bye, Woodlawn hosted 12th seeded Northwood High School from Shreveport. The Lady Panthers cruised to an easy victory in the Regional round with a 71-38 final. This win was the first Regional round victory in school history.

Junior Guard Amijah Price averaged 26 ppg in the State Tournament.

The Quarterfinal round saw Woodlawn travel to Covington for a matchup versus fourth-seeded St. Scholastica. While the Lady Panthers were the lower seed, they led by two at half. The lead quickly ballooned to 10 in the second half. Woodlawn continued to pull away to a final score of 64-42.

The state semifinals were next up for the Lady Panthers, and #1 Huntington loomed for Woodlawn in Hammond. While many felt that Woodlawn would be outgunned by Huntington’s guards, Dedeaux and the Lady Panthers had other plans. 

Led by an amazing effort by junior guard Amijah Price and unmatched defensive intensity, fifth-seeded Woodlawn knocked off the top seed, 71-58. 

“Sometimes when you play teams that pressure, they don’t like the pressure,” Woodlawn coach Alicia Dedeaux said. “You have to return the favor and see how they respond. The girls truly took care of business. When it counted, my girls got the job done.”

Woodlawn, in their State Tournament debut, scored 19 points off of turnovers and made 30 of 35 free throws.

Price scored a team high 33 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. She was perfect from the free throw line, going 20 of 20.

She had help from sophomore guard Mariah Scott, who added 13 points, and junior forward Mya Montgomery, who added 12 points. The Lady Panthers outrebounded Huntington 48-21.

After leading by two at the end of the first quarter, Woodlawn went cold offensively and could not stop the top seed, who went on a 16-0 run. The Lady Panthers trailed by nine at the half.

Junior forward Mya Montgomery added invaluable production off the bench during the playoff run.

However, after chipping away at the deficit in the third, Woodlawn outscored Huntington 26-9 in the final quarter for the final score. The win set the Lady Panthers up to face John Curtis Christian in their first title game appearance ever.

The second seeded Patriots proved to be too much for Woodlawn, going wire-to-wire with the lead. The final score of 60-46 came only after several second half runs by the Lady Panthers put them in striking distance.

A final surge by Woodlawn put them within seven at 47-40. Two field goals that could have put pressure on John Curtis did not find the bottom of the net, and the Patriots finished the game on a 13-5 run. 

Price led Woodlawn again in the championship game, scoring 19 points and tallying 10 rebounds. Junior guard Zyriah Williams added 11 points, and Montgomery grabbed 8 rebounds to go with her 5 points.

Despite the loss, the Lady Panther basketball team has a bright future ahead of it after the record-breaking 2023-2024 season.