St. Charles Herald-Guide

Tigers must control tempo to knock off Comeaux

Jonathan Menard - February 27, 2014

Hahnville faces a tough task on Friday night when they travel to Lafayette to take on No. 9 Comeaux in the first round of the Class 5A basketball playoffs.

The Tigers (15-12) struggled towards the end of the regular season, losing three of their last four games. However, Hahnville went toe-to-toe with No. 7 East St. John twice this season, which means they can compete with anyone in the state.

“I feel pretty good about how we played this season,” Hahnville head coach Jerry Hernandez said. “We’ve played some really good teams very tough and beat some people we probably shouldn’t have beaten. I think the players are pretty excited because they haven’t been in the playoffs in a few years.”

Comeaux captured the District 3-5A championship with a 13-1 record. Overall, Comeaux is 25-5 on the season with impressive wins over Acadiana, Lafayette and New Iberia, who are all in the playoffs. Hernandez said that Comeaux’s size presents a challenge for his squad.

“They are very talented. They have a big 6-foot-7 player that is very good and two 6-foot-4 kids that shoot well and are very good players,” he said. “They like to get it up and down the floor as much as they can and they play an aggressive man-to-man defense.”

In order to be successful, Hernandez said his squad must control the tempo of the game.

“We like to get out and run ourselves, but we will have to slow down the tempo when we can,” he said. “Our biggest issue will be to run when we have the opportunity and slow it down and pull it back when we don’t.”

The Tigers must also stay calm in order to knock off the ninth-ranked team in the state.

“As I try to do all year, especially when we play teams like East St. John and Destrehan, who are our rivals, is to get (the players) to stay on an even keel,” Hernandez said.

“Sometimes when teams go on a run and score eight or 10 points, they can panic and think they have to get all that back in two possessions. Hopefully they will approach this game like any other. They have to play within themselves.”Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday at Comeaux.

The Tigers struggled down the stretch, but can turn things around on Friday.
The Tigers struggled down the stretch, but can turn things around on Friday.