For just the second time this season, Hahnville tasted defeat.
A rising East St. John program held off a furious Hahnville rally in the fourth quarter to emerge with a 70-66 District 7-5A victory at home in Reserve, led by sharpshooting Kylin Harris’ game-high 27 point effort.
Harris sank five 3-pointers in the second quarter (six total on the night) to help spur ESJ out to a 37-34 halftime lead. Robert Ferrygood scored 15 points and Amir Rios dropped in 14 as well to lift the Wildcats.
Kaden Pierre scored 20 points to lead Hahnville (12-2, 1-1), which entered the game as the top-ranked team in 5A. Claudell Harris scored 16 and Tyren LeBeauf added nine for the Tigers.
It represented the first time HHS head coach Yussef Jasmine lost to his former school since arriving at Hahnville in 2017, a seven-game span between the district rivals. Jasmine led the ESJ program from 2007 to 2016.
“We didn’t play well overall,” Jasmine said. “We were sluggish from the tipoff, missed a dunk to beging the game … their best shooter got shots. One of our best players (LeBeauf) fouled out and that was a problem. We’ll learn from it.”
While Harris got rolling from the outside, East St. John (12-3, 2-0) took all avenues in an attempt to ensure Hahnville could not get its own outside shooting clicking from the outside. Harris hit two 3-pointers in the game and LeBeauf one, all three shots coming in the first quarter. Hahnville scored one more from the outside in the final three quarters on a Cameron Lumar shot, the rest of its scoring coming inside of the arc.
“We changed our defense,” said first year East St. John coach Antonio Broadway. “We kept switching it on them and it made them very uncomfortable. We took their shooter out of the game. We just executed. They were hitting shots, and we were able to go on the other end and execute.”
Both teams came out the gates a bit slowly, each turning the ball over on downcourt passing attempts, while Hahnville also missed a dunk on its first attempt of the night. Harris and Pierre settled in, though, and the two combined to score the first 14 points of the game for HHS. Hahnville led 19-16 after the first quarter.
A Jai Smith basket put the Tigers ahead by five, but ESJ surged after that, going on a 12-4 run to take a 28-25 advantage, kickstarting the run on back to backHarris 3-pointers. He hit five of the Wildcats’ 6 outside shots in the second quarter, Warren Snyder canning the final score of the period to give ESJ a four point lead at half.
ESJ carried its momentum into the third quarter, jumping ahead 52-40 after a 15-6 run coming out of the half, and led by as many as 16. HHS whittled it down to 10 entering the fourth quarter.
Back to back baskets by Daquan Price and an inside score by Corey Lorio helped fuel a quick 8-2 run that put Hahnville right back in business, down 58-54. A Pierre bucket then two Harris free throws pulled Hahnville within three at 61-58. Harris found Pierre on a lob attempt, and Pierre drew a foul to cut the lead to 61-60 at the line. Harris made two at the line after the teams traded points to give HHS its first lead since the first half at 64-63.
Smith made a pair of key fourth quarter baskets for Hahnville to keep the Tigers in play, but the Wildcats took the lead back after a steal and Amir Rios basket, 67-66. Hahnville missed two at the foul line, and East St. John missed the front end of a 1 and 1 with 30 seconds left – but Ferrygood snatched an offensive rebound to keep the possession alive. Harris sank two at the line with 12 seconds left to push ESJ ahead by three.
Harris pulled up for 3 for a tying attempt, but the shot was no good, allowing ESJ to ice the game at the other end.
“We have a target on our back … you can’t lack intensity, hang around and rely on trying to make plays down the stretch,” said Jasmine. “In district, that’s how it is. When you’re the No. 1 team in the state, everyone’s coming with their best game. You’ve got to be your best. We just weren’t.”