Through its performance in its first five games of the season, Hahnville wasted no time showing its potential on the court.
The Tigers are 4-1 thus far, with wins over Rummel, St. Amant, Kennedy and Warren Easton and a lone loss to Crescent City. This is an experienced group with seven returning seniors including the Tigers’ leading scorer from a season ago, Cameron Lumar.
“This is a good group,” said HHS head coach Yussef Jasmine. “Whenever you have senior kids who have been in your program since their freshman year … they know the system, some have experienced our two runs to the final four … anytime you can have that, it’s pretty special.”
As usual for a Jasmine-coached team, the focus begins on defense – the Tigers are quick and they like to turn up the heat on the opposition through their pressure. In Hahnville’s first two games, a 48-43 win over Rummel and a 72-55 win over St. Amant, Hahnville totaled 34 steals, a whopping 17 a game.
“That goes to show our guys’ attention to detail,” Jasmine said. “Our guard play is very solid at both ends of the court and that’s why we’re able to put that pressure on teams.”
Lumar was the runner-up in District 7-5A MVP voting last season, and Jasmine said he couldn’t ask for a better leader on the court.
“He’s one of those special kids you coach … on the court, off the court, our kids respond to him,” said Jasmine. “He’s been with this group since junior high and they respect his work ethic. His confidence, his ability to lead, and to take what I tell him and bring it to them – it’s phenomenal.”
As is Lumar’s game.
“His ability to pull up, it’s similar to Claudell (Harris) a few years ago,” Jasmine said, referencing his sharpshooting guard that helped lead HHS on two state semifinal runs. “They have the ability to get their jump shot on tough defenders and you can’t really stop it. I think he’s a special player.”
Senior Jai Johnson was voted Defensive MVP of District 7-5A last season, and he is back making an impact once again.
Cobe Landry is a rising sophomore who earned time as a freshman last season.
“He looks like he grows a little bit every day,” Jasmine said. “His frame is bigger and playing a full varsity season as a freshman, it’s added to his confidence.”
Tyray Bartholomew transferred to Hahnville last year but spent much of the 21-22 season fighting off injuries. Jasmine said having a full offseason/preseason program has helped him tremendously. The team is meshing in its players from the football team, like Cincere Simmons, who adds size in the frontcourt at 6’3 and 240 lbs. Forward Dylan Ramage is back from an injury that sidelined him last year. Eli Harris and Tevon Fields are also among those playing well early this season.
“We’ve got depth, experience and youth,” Jasmine said. “I think we’ve got a lot of good things going for this year.”
The Rummel and St. Amant wins were tone-setters. Playing on the road in before an energetic crowd at Rummel, HHS rallied in the second half to earn a win over the Raiders. St. Amant beat the Tigers a season ago, but Hahnville scored the fall this time around in the rematch.
Jasmine said he was very proud of the team’s 66-50 win over Kennedy in the second game of the Tigers’ home tournament last week, one that saw Hahnville bounce back a day after suffering its first loss of the season, 63-50 to Crescent City.
“I think Kennedy is very good this year … young, talented and they’ve got a little size as well,” Jasmine said. “We had our lowest turnover number of the season. Anytime you bounce back from a loss and play close to your full potential, that’s a great sign.”
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