Destrehan managed to keep its basketball schedule intact through last week’s winter freeze, playing its lone district game on the road last Thursday night before hosting Chalmette Saturday and splitting the two games.
The Wildcats bounced back to beat Chalmette 59-48 after absorbing its most lopsided loss of the season, a 100-69 decision against a tough Bourgeois squad contending for District 7-5A’s top honors.
“Give (Bourgeois) credit, they did what they had to do and we really didn’t,” Destrehan coach Todd Bourg said. “I thought we were out of rhythm and out of routine, not being in school for two or three days and not getting that practice time in. It’s definitely a letdown, but we got back in the gym and played very hard against Chalmette to get back on the right track.”
Bourg said the Wildcats shot the ball far better against Chalmette, rebounded better and were tougher at the defensive end — an all-around improved effort.
“We got back into basketball mode,” Bourg said. “The Chalmette game, we really took control from the beginning. They fought back and took the lead on us at one point, but we kicked back into gear to win by 11.”
Destrehan fell to 2-3 in district play with the loss to Bourgeois and entered this week at 12-13 overall, cooling off a bit after a strong start. That puts added importance on a game that always has plenty of it: the Wildcats are set to rematch Hahnville Friday night at the R.K. Middle School gymnasium, with a chance to sweep their archrival Tigers.
In the first meeting between the teams on Jan. 3, Lionel Maxon scored 30 points to lead the Wildcats to a 87-83 victory.
In that game, Destrehan surged to a big first half lead and at one point increased its lead to 20 before a ferocious Hahnville comeback made the final minutes dramatic.
It was another chapter in the storied rivalry, and Bourg expects no less of a fight this time around.
“It’ll be another battle in a huge rivalry,” Bourg said. “The record never matters or whether one team is better than the other. Both teams come ready to play.”
Communication can be tough when the fans get rocking, he added.
“That gym’s gonna be loud,” Bourg said. “It’s hard to get instructions to your kids. As a coach, you’ve gotta do your best to prepare them before the game because it’s hard to do it during.”
One player who could come up big is junior guard J.R. Blood, who Bourg said has started to heat up with his outside shot.
“He’s starting to hit a lot of those from the perimeter,” Bourg said. “He’s a big plus for us right now. Hopefully we see it carry over to the second round of district play.”
Blood led the Wildcats with 24 points in their loss to H.L. Bourgeois. Zalvin Michael scored 18 and Devin Edwards 14.
Maxon led the way in the Wildcats’ win over Chalmette, scoring a team-high 21 points. Blood scored 18 and Michael added 12.