Lady Tigers claw way back from big deficit to knock off Lady Cats, 52-51
Hahnville junior Rickell Preston extends for a rebound against Destrehan. Preston led the Lady Tigers in scoring with 15 points.
But Hahnville surged back in the final moments, capturing a 52-51 victory over the Lady Cats that kept them undefeated in district play with a 4-0 record.
"(When down by nine) we told the girls that it was now or never," Hahnville head coach Kevin Robicheaux said. "We had to put pressure on Destrehan and get some quick baskets. I have to give the girls credit because they did that while keeping their poise and focus.
"They made baskets when they needed to and made their free-throws down the stretch."
The Lady Tigers took an early 10-6 lead after the first quarter and held on to a 21-16 advantage at the break. But the Lady Cats came back in the third quarter to tie the game at 33-33.
Destrehan eventually took a nine-point lead with two minutes remaining, and though Hahnville roared back, the Lady Cats had a chance to win in the final moments. But Hahnville junior forward Taylor Weber came through with a huge block that preserved the Lady Tigers win.
Rickell Preston led the Lady Tigers with 16 points, while Kaelynn Boyd finished with 15 points.
"I'll take a one-point win over Destrehan any day," Robicheaux said. "It was a huge win for us because it was a playoff-atmosphere win that will be big for us later in the season. Our goal is to make it to the playoffs and get back in that Top 28."
Destrehan coach Angi Butler said it was a very difficult loss for her squad.
"We are trying to build a name for ourselves and what better way to do that than to beat your all-time rival," she said. "We just couldn't hold on in the last 30 seconds of the game. We have worked all season for this game and we were so excited to be in the lead with a couple of minutes left on the clock.
"We just failed to finish in the lead."
Butler said that in order for her squad to bounce back from two-straight district losses, they have to learn from their mistakes while focusing on the good things they have accomplished.
"We must use these past two games as learning blocks that help us become a more stable, focused and fundamentally sound team," she said.
Butler added that she would also like her team to be more patient on offense.
"They struggle with running a play through all the options before taking the open shot," she said. "They like to shoot the first time they see the opportunity instead of being patient and wearing the defense down in hopes of getting an even better shot, especially in the last couple of minutes of the game."
While the Lady Tigers pulled out the victory, Robicheaux also sees a lot of room for improvement in his squad.
"One of our biggest problems right now is being consistent," he said. "From a defensive standpoint, we are not getting the same intensity every night. That's something you have to bring every time you step on the court."
Hahnville will return to action this Friday when they travel to St. Amant. Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m. Destrehan will travel to East Ascension this Friday. Tip off is also scheduled for 6 p.m.
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