UPDATED: Court will decide who plays in LHSAA Class 4A Semifinals

UPDATE: 9:49 a.m. Friday

Both Vandebilt Catholic and Salmen are in Hammond waiting to play St. Michael this afternoon.



A judge will determine this morning who gets the honor.



The LHSAA is appealing the temporary restraining order granted yesterday in Houma District Court, which blocked the governing body from enforcing the ruling that Lady Terriers’ guard Jewel Triggs was ineligible – which would have forced Vandebilt to vacate its spot in the playoffs.

LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson said lawyers will appeal directly to Judge George Larke Jr. this morning to have the ruling reversed.



If unsuccessful, he said they are prepared to push the case to state district court in Baton Rouge.



As it stands now, Vandebilt is the team that is sitting in the bracket in line to play St. Michaels.

The Lady Terriers held a full practice yesterday and prepared to play.



Across Lake Pontchartrain, Salmen did the same.



More updates to come later.

UPDATE: 6:20 p.m. Thursday



It appears the Vandebilt Catholic girls’ basketball team is going to the LHSAA State Semifinals after all.



Judge George Larke Jr. granted a temporary restraining order late this afternoon that will block the LHSAA from enforcing its ruling laid down last night that Lady Terriers sophomore guard Jewel Triggs was ineligible – a distinction that would have forced the team to forfeit its spot in the playoffs.

Because the restraining order was granted, a hearing will now be held within 10 days to make a final determination on Triggs’ eligibility.



In the meantime, the Lady Terriers will be able to compete in tomorrow afternoon’s semifinal meeting with St. Michaels.



LHSAA Executive Director Kenny Henderson confirmed the restraining order to the Tri-Parish Times this evening.

“There has been a temporary restraining order issued, yes. I can say that,” Henderson said.



The LHSAA executive also confirmed that Vandebilt will return to its position in the bracket.



Early Thursday morning, Henderson had informed Salmen High School that they would play in Vandebilt’s spot.

“This petition calls for Vandebilt to be playing tomorrow,” Henderson said.



Henderson said he could not comment further on the matter. He would not confirm, nor deny whether the LHSAA would pursue other avenues to block the Lady Terriers from competing.



Vandebilt Catholic coach Kathy Luke was reached by phone Thursday night.

She said she has been told to not offer comment regarding the situation.



Calls made to Vandebilt Catholic Athletic Director Laury Dupont have been unreturned throughout the past 36 hours.



If able to compete, Vandebilt would take on St. Michaels in the State Semifinals tomorrow afternoon in Hammond.

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The Vandebilt Catholic girls’ basketball team has been ordered to forfeit its 48-44 Class 4A State Quarterfinals win against Salmen from Monday night.

LHSAA Commissioner Kenny Henderson confirmed that decision this morning to the Tri-Parish Times.

He said the decision was prompted after Vandebilt self-initiated an investigation regarding a player in the program.

“The investigation was requested by the school,” Henderson said. “There was information that came to us yesterday that basically helped us to finish the investigation out.”

Henderson said once the investigation was complete, Lady Terriers were ordered to forfeit because it yielded they were playing with an ineligible player. 

According to multiple sources close to the Lady Terriers’ program, the player in question is sophomore guard Jewel Triggs.

Triggs played in each of Vandebilt’s three playoff games to this point.

She did not play in the team’s final regular season game with Ellender and no reason was given for her absence.

Henderson wouldn’t confirm the player by name, but said she was ineligible because of a violation of the LHSAA’s transfer rules.

This is due to a violation of the transfer and residency rule,” Henderson said. “Because of this violation, we had to take them out of the playoffs.”

Longtime Vandebilt girls’ basketball coach Kathy Luke was reached by phone Wednesday night.

She said she would not confirm that the Lady Terriers were out of the playoffs, saying she “wouldn’t go that far,” when told that the team would forfeit the win.

She added that she would have no additional comment regarding the situation.

A report states that Triggs’ parents planned to file a temporary restraining order lawsuit in state district court in Houma today in a last-ditch effort to block Henderson’s ruling.

The LHSAA official said he had no information regarding a lawsuit.

The Terrebonne Parish Courthouse said at 11:45 a.m. that they had not yet received a lawsuit from the Triggs family.

Whispers about the LHSAA’s decision regarding Vandebilt started on Wednesday afternoon. Multiple sources close to the Salmen High School girls’ basketball program contacted the Tri-Parish Times at that time to indicate that an investigation was taking place and that the Lady Tigers could possibly be placed back into the playoffs.

Salmen assistant coach Wendy Stamply was reached Wednesday night for comment.

She said she did not know specifics regarding the matter.

“You’ll have to talk to my head coach or my principal,” Stamply said. “I don’t know what exactly to say about that.”

But Henderson confirmed Thursday morning that Salmen will replace the Terriers in the playoffs.

“They will resume play as the last time Vandebilt faced,” Henderson said. “They are going to the semifinals.”

Calls made to Vandebilt Catholic Athletic Director Laury Dupont were unreturned.

Keep visiting www.tri-parishtimes.com for more updates.