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Senior duo carrying Lady Cardinals to new heights

E.D. White Catholic's Jordan Gros (23) and Genna Larose (24) have each surpassed 1,000 career points this season. (Photo by File photos)

Most high school basketball teams have one go-to player.

The E.D. White Catholic Lady Cardinals are doing it a step better this season. They have two go-to players on their roster.

This season, the Lady Cardinals have been counting on two seniors — Genna Larose and Jordan Gros — to carry them to one of the best seasons in school history. Larose and Gros have teamed up to lead the Lady Cardinals (21-5 overall) to a 16-game winning streak, a share of the District 7-3A title with a 6-0 mark and tied for fifth in the latest Louisiana Sports Writers Association's Class 3A poll.

E.D. White coach Darin Fontz said the Lady Cardinals' success is a direct correlation to senior duo's overall play this season.

"They have gone from being role players early in their career to becoming our prominent scorers their junior and senior years," Fontz said. "They both feed off each other. When they are both on, we are pretty tough to beat."

For the majority of the past two seasons, Larose and Gros have been on their game, and it has helped them reach new heights this season. In a span of 11 days, both players eclipsed the 1,000 career-point barrier.

Larose was first to accomplish the goal on Jan. 4 in a win over Houma Christian. Jordan followed by scoring her 1,000th career point on Jan. 15 against St. James.

"Coach didn't tell us how close we were until we had about 20 points left," Gros said. "We knew (Geena) was a lot closer than me, so we knew that she was going to get it first."

Larose said scoring 1,000 career points has been her goal since she was in the sixth grade after watching former E.D. White standout Ben Martin accomplish that goal during the 2006-07 season. Her brother, Trey Larose, was a member of that team.

Scoring her 1,000th career point was not on Larose's mind in that Jan. 4 game. Larose said her main focus was on getting the team ready for the start of district play in less than a week.

"Going into the game, I wasn't thinking too much about it," she said. "I was really just focused on getting that win. I was more focused on getting my teammates pumped up to make a big district run. When I did hit it, I was elated because I have been working so hard since eighth grade to achieve it. It was phenomenal."

Gros, on the other hand, had a different mindset heading into her historic game.

"Going into the game, I knew that I had three points left, so I was a little nervous," Gros said. "Whenever I made it, it was amazing to hear the crowd and see my friends in the stands with signs of support. It was an amazing feeling, nothing like I ever felt before."

Larose and Gros' success on the court can be attributed to being longtime teammates, as they started playing together when they were 6 years old. That type of camaraderie has been priceless for both players.

"We can look at each other and without saying a word just nod or heads we know what the other is going to do," Larose said. "It really works to our benefit, and it is hard to stop. It's definitely been beneficial for us."

Fontz said Larose and Gros have been more than scorers for the Lady Cardinals this season. They have emerged as the leaders on the team and are teaching the younger players what it takes to be winners.

With two games left in the regular season and a spot in the Class 3A playoffs already wrapped up, the Lady Cardinals need a win over either Port Allen (tonight at home) or St. Charles Catholic (Friday on the road) to win the outright 7-3A title. E.D. White will then turn its attention to the state playoffs, as the brackets will be released on Feb. 14.

Fontz said the Lady Cardinals appear to be playing their best basketball at the right time and have a chance to do something only the 1979-80 squad accomplished — reaching the state quarterfinals.

"We are playing some of our best basketball right now," he said. "Since the start of the second round of district play, we are cutting down on turnovers and have gotten a lot better. We haven't been to the quarterfinals since 1980, and the kids made it a goal at the beginning to get there."

Larose said she likes the Lady Cardinals chances of achieving that goal and establishing a winning foundation for the future.

"It's definitely been an amazing year," she said. "The last time we had a record this good was two years ago. Since then, we've known that we had the talent and the ability to do it, but we haven't been able to convert that into what we are looking for. Doing this with a young team, it's been really great because I will be able to come back and see how much the girls have grown."