By Jim Derry
Written for the LSWA
As awards go, this one is a slam dunk — on back-to-back possessions, that is.
For the second straight season, Destrehan’s Cara Ursin was the obvious choice to be named the Louisiana Farm Bureau/Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Miss Basketball after leading her Wildcats to a 35-0 season that was capped off by the school’s first Class 5A state championship.
In that one, Ursin was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player after scoring 27 points with 11 rebounds and six assists, all while playing the final seven minutes with four fouls, in a 62-57 win over top-seeded Barbe.
She went on last month to be named the Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. In all, throughout the 2016-17 season, the 5-foot-7 senior guard averaged 27.6 points, 14.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 5.6 steals and 4.1 blocks per game. She knocked down 69.5 percent of her shots, including 52.1 percent from 3-point land.
Ursin, a Baylor signee, recorded seven triple-doubles and one quadruple-double, coming within one blocked shot of a quintuple-double and concluded her prep basketball career with 2,901 points.
After the championship game was over, she said, “This is a feeling you just can’t explain. When the clock hit zero and we were up, I mean what do you do? We won after (three) years of falling short, we won the championship. We went undefeated. That speaks volumes for us, and as far as the feelings I can’t really tell you how I feel, because you have to be in my position to feel it.”
And hardly anyone in the history of girls high school basketball has been in her position.
She becomes just the fourth female to win this award in back-to-back seasons after Pineville’s Kisha James in 1997 and 1998, Capitol’s Seimone Augustus in 2001 and 2002 and Salmen’s Kalani Brown in 2014 and 2015.
Augustus and Brown — her future teammate at Baylor — went on to win at least one All-America award in college.
Farm Bureau/LSWA Miss Basketball winners
1996: Judy Clark, Singer
1997: Kisha James, Pineville
1998: Kisha James, Pineville
1999: Ashley Antony, Anacoco
2000: Alana Beard, Southwood-Shreveport
2001: Seimone Augustus, Capitol-Baton Rouge
2002: Seimone Augustus, Capitol-Baton Rouge
2003: Katie Antony, Anacoco
2004: Quianna Chaney, Southern Lab
2005: Courtnee Hollins, Fairview
2006: Alexis Rack, Franklin
2007: Tarkeisha Wysinger, Many
2008: Deana Allen, Ellender
2009: Kylie Leonards, Fairview
2010: Theresa Plaisance, Vandebilt Catholic
2011: Tina Roy, Kaplan
2012: Lulu Perry, Benton
2013: La’Dencia Johnson, Rayville
2014: Kalani Brown, Salmen
2015: Kalani Brown, Salmen
2016: Cara Ursin, Destrehan
2017: Cara Ursin, Destrehan