An 69-42 home victory over McDonogh No. 35 was the fifth in a row for a Hahnville Tigers team that appears to be hitting full stride with district play just around the corner.
The Tigers (9-4) have taken down Karr, McMain, Lutcher and De La Salle as well over the five game streak, which began at the Newman tournament early this month. The last three of those victories came by decisive margins of 21, 13 and 27 respectively.
Hahnville began play at the Country Day Classic Wednesday (after press time) and continues on at the tourney today (Dec. 21). Head coach Erica Randolph has had a simple message for her team before the annual tournament, which brings together several of the state’s top basketball programs for competition.
“We’ve got to keep it going. The streak’s got to continue,” Randolph said.
Randolph said the Tigers have really begun to grasp some of the finer details of winning games – and specifically, closing them out.
“We’ve tweaked and implemented some things at practice,” Randolph said. “Something we talk about – at halftime, you can’t go out in the second half and play at the same level you did in the first. You have to pick it up a notch. The tempo is going to change and you’ve got to be able to close games. I think we’ve done a good job of that.
“There’s still work to do and things we need to improve on, but I think they’re understanding how important it is to keep it going.”
The closest among the games during the five-game streak came against McMain – the Tigers earned a 77-74 victory in that one, powered by a monster performance from leading scorer Jordan Moore.
Moore finished with 30 points in the game, highlighted by a 14-point second quarter. He got some strong backup from his brother, Jamal Moore, who finished with 14, and Ahmand Simmons who posted 10.
One game earlier, the Tigers’ 57-49 win over Karr saw four Tigers in double-figures. Jordan Moore and Cobe Landry each scored 12, Eli Harris 11 and Calvin Smith 10.
Jamal Moore, Randolph said, has been strong during the winning streak at both ends of the court.
“He’s been giving us some big numbers and guarding some key players for us,” said Randolph.
Simmons and Smith, she added, continue to bring experience, toughness and consistently commit to doing the little things it takes to win.
“We know in basketball, we aren’t going to play a perfect game. Mistakes do happen,” Randolph said. “Ahmand and CJ (Smith) know that if a mistake happens, OK then they’re getting back on defense to make a stop or a critical play – it’s night in and night out for them.”
This week’s Country Day tournament will see Hahnville among a group of 12 traditionally strong programs including Rummel, John Curtis, St. Thomas More, St. Thomas Aquinas, Karr and host Country Day – which won the tournament last season – among others.
Such tournaments can be looked at as practice runs for the state playoffs. Randolph pushes back on that particular description, however.
“None of it is practice for us at all,” said Randolph. “We look at it as we’re playing a championship game night in and night out. This is the next test for us, though, and what I love about the Country Day tournament is it’s an opportunity to play teams who have made runs in the playoffs and who are going to make runs in the playoffs. If you want to get to that next level, you’ve got to play the best programs night in and night out.”