LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Vinton Lady Lions made the playoffs this season for the first time since 2005. The girls doubled down on history picking up an upset win over 6th seeded Franklin in the first round. The playoff win is believed to be the first for the program since the 1980s and perhaps beyond.
Leading the charge was Junior forward Mackenzie Joseph.
“Was really all or nothing like we was either going to win or lose and I just put everything out on the floor, and I made sure that my teammates know that we don’t need to be scared of them.”
“She’s a dream man, you get one of these a couple of times in your lifetime. I’ve never had a kid that has the complete package as she does from beginning to end. I don’t care if it’s the number one team in the nation in college. She can go play anywhere and be an asset.”
Joseph tallied 27 points in the Lady Lions playoff win and followed it up with a triple-double in Vinton’s regional round loss to Springfield.
“She can go inside against bigger players. She can play big against the smaller players outside, she’s quick enough to hold her own against the faster players,” said Ebarb of Joseph. “She’s just versatile, she’s versatile and her attitude and work ethic elevates the team around her.”
Despite the second-round exit, first-year head coach Phillip Ebarb says their playoff win meant a lot to the Vinton community.
“Yeah, there’s nothing about it that wasn’t super special,” said Ebarb. “My social media and my phone have been blowing up for weeks. Just people excited about these girls and excited about what they’re doing.”
As for the team, Joseph says she is furthering her goals for her senior year.
“I’m going to work really hard for this off-season and try to be district champs next year,” Mackenzie said, “and just help my teammates get in that mindset of we really got to work hard.”