Wildcats, Tigers near season end
But to stay there, East St. John had to take care of the Tigers themselves and they did that on Feb. 17 when the team defeated Hahnville 65-56 in Reserve.
The win clinched at least a share of the District 6-5A championship for East St. John (17-14, 7-2).
And if East St. John wins the division, it will be the school's second district championship in boys basketball history and their first outright title ever.
Leading 47-46 heading into the fourth quarter, East St. John used dependable defense and free-throw shooting to take the victory.
Hahnville tied the score at 49 with 5:34 remaining, when Desmond Raymond made a 3-pointer from the left side of the key.
But that was one of only two baskets made. Warren Lebeouf hit a short jumper with 34 seconds remaining. In between, Hahnville only made two shots.
East St. John, meanwhile, went 11 out of 19 at the line.
Hahnville got 17 points from Desmond Raymond and 14 from Lebeouf and Jaries Thomas, who also had double digits in rebounds. Howard scored 6 and Kinsey racked up 4. However, the team missed 17 free throws.
Reflecting on the season there are some wins that the Tigers should be proud of, like their 46-38 victory against the Destrehan Wildcats on Feb. 6.
In that game Hahnville was able to hold its 16th opponent to fewer than 50 points. Destrehan held its fourth consecutive opponent to fewer than 50 points and its 12th of the season.
And although the game was all about defense, there was some scoring.
Raymond led the Tigers with 17 and Destrehan's Roosevelt Johnson matched that. Hahnville also got 10 points from Warren LeBeauf. No other Wildcat scored double figures.
Hahnville never trailed, but never was able to put the game away either. The Tigers' biggest lead was 10 points at the half. Destrehan then outscored Hahnville 14-9 in the third quarter.
Earlier in the night Destrehan's girls fought off a late Hahnville rally to take a 52-49 win and stay atop the district standings with East Ascension.
The Wildcats (24-7, 7-1) got 13 points from Tawanna Lee and 12 from Paige Rochelle and Ladacia Smith. Lacey Dent added 10. Hahnville (14-17, 2-6) was led by Jasmine Hill with 17 points.
The rivals also matched up on Jan. 20, and is was Hahnville who took the lead home a win, 65-58.
The Tigerís quick moves on defense proved to be their golden ticket for a win against the Wildcats.
In a packed HHS gym, Jared Kinsey led the Tigers with 25 points, and Desmond Raymond followed with 10. They were the only two Tigers to reach double digits, but other team members contributed to the victory.
DHSí Roosevelt Johnson, who led all scorers by 30 points, was the powerhouse the Tigers needed to defend. Wildcat Wynrick Smothers added 15, but only three other Wildcats scored.
Hahnville proved to be the better team in their match up against Destrehan. They never trailed.
The Tigers led 12-4 after the first quarter, led by 10 heading into the final period and was only threatened by Destrehan with 1:50 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Coach Brian Lumar credits the win to his teamís ability to step it up defensively, noting that the team cleaned up careless first-half turnovers and rallied together in the second half.
Lumar adds that although the boys try to treat games against their rival like any other game, itís hard because level of energy is so different.
While the boys team packed in more of a punch against the Wildcats, HHSí girls team fell to their opponent 62-43 on that district opener.
Paige Rochelle led all scorers with 21 points, while center Ladaisha Smith scored 19 points and Tawanna Lee added 15.
Hahnville got 12 points from Jamara Celistan and 11 from Kaelynn Boyd.
Destrehanís boys basketball will close the regular season on Feb. 10 when they match up against Dutchtown on the road.
The Tigers also close the regular season that day when they host St. Amant in Boutte.
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