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Historic day for parish hoops

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G-Women advance to Big Dance; SHS brings home state title
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Top photo: The Grambling State Lady Tigers defeated archrival Southern University in the Southwestern Athletic Conference women’s championship game Saturday, 72-68. The Lady Tigers will now participate in the 2018 NCAA Women’s Tournament for the first time since 1999. Bottom photo: Simsboro High School boy’s basketball junior Gianni Nelson, left, holds the Tigers’ state title trophy with Miguel Carter while clutching his Class B championship game MVP plaque after Saturday’s win over Zwolle, 67-51.

It was a historic day for Lincoln Parish basketball Saturday as a pair of teams saw their hoops dreams realized.

After 43 years of waiting, the top-seeded Simsboro Tigers are state champions after claiming the Class B boys title at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles after defeating No. 2 seed Zwolle 67-51.

The last time the Tigers captured a boy’s basketball championship was in 1975 when they won the Class C title.

Junior guard Gianni Nelson was named the championship game MVP after leading the Tigers with 25 points, finishing 6-of-13 from the floor and 13-of-16 at the free-throw line while adding 10 rebounds.

Not to be outdone, Grambling State’s Lady Tigers won the Southwestern Athletic Conference women’s tournament title with a 72-68 win over Southern at Delmar Fieldhouse, earning their first berth to the NCAA tournament since 1999.

Tournament Most Valuable Player Shakyla Hill, a junior, led Grambling with 27 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Junior Jazmin Boyd and senior Monisha Neal each added 11 points for the Lady Tigers.

The Lady Tigers will learn where, when and against who they’ll start play in the NCAA Women’s Tournament during a selection show to be televised on ESPN begining at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

For more on Saturday’s historic hoops wins for Lincoln Parish, see pages 9A and 10A.

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