The Hahnville Tigers have begun the new year with wins in three out of their first four District 7-5A battles and HHS is hoping to continue to build momentum.
The Tigers (13-7, 2-1) might just be a tweak or two from kicking off a win streak – ironically, one might look to the team’s losses to come to that conclusion. HHS has been tough to beat, with all three of its recent losses coming by four points or less and six of its seven losses this season by single digits. Conversely, six of the team’s last seven wins have been by decisive margins and all by double digits.
One of those victories came in the team’s recent victory over Thibodaux, a 62-52 road victory in District 7-5A action. Then, on Friday night, Hahnville edged Northshore 64-62 in non-district action.
Another came last week against the Tigers’ archrival – and it came highlighted by a very memorable play early on.
Hahnville and Destrehan were going back and forth until the first quarter of their game in Boutte began to wind down.
That’s when Ahmand Simmons drove toward the basket, then threw an alley oop pass off the glass to Jordan Moore – whose rim rattling dunk set off an eruption of cheers from the Tigers’ crowd.
That only made it 16-10, but HHS rode a wave of momentum from there to roll to a 73-42 victory over the rival Wildcats.
“That was amazing,” said Moore. “We practice it … it comes down to our chemistry. It’s my first year on the team, but we work hard and we’ve now got that chemistry level where he knows when I’m looking for it. To have the crowd rocking like that, it’s special – not many people get to experience that.”
“We’re friends and we know what the other wants out there,” Simmons said. “So when he called for it, we went for it.”
Moore led the Tigers with 18 points, while Eli Harris poured in 17. Simmons and Calvin Smith scored nine each, while Jamal Moore added eight.
For Destrehan, Keenan Brown scored 10 and Jumoni Washington scored 9 to lead the way. Cohann Mills added seven.
Simmons ended the first quarter by following up on his lob pass to Moore by using the glass for another means – his bank shot 3 to end the quarter gave HHS a 9-point advantage.
“I just saw there were a few seconds left and I didn’t see anything open. But I was one-on-one, and to me one-on-one is open, so I took the shot,” Simmons said.
The Tigers enter games with a general goal to hold opposing teams to 10 points or less each quarter. Hahnville did so in each of the first three quarters against Destrehan, before the game was all but decided.
“That’s how we approached it, we wanted to hold them under 10 each time. We talked out there and did a pretty good job of it,” Simmons said. “We make sure we’re aggressive on defense, we want to make teams uncomfortable, force bad passes and make bad reads.”
Hahnville head coach Erica Randolph pointed out that when the Hahnville defense plays like it did in the district opener, opportunities abound on offense.
“(The alley oop play) came off a defensive play,” said Randolph. “Night after night, we can defend. You don’t always shoot extremely well, but when you defend the way we did tonight, you can get out and run.”
For Destrehan, the loss was the continuance of a rebuilding campaign. DHS (0-16, 0-3) will look to notch its first win Friday night on the road as the Wildcats travel to Terrebonne.