Destrehan may be off to a stellar 15-6 start, but the Wildcats nonetheless are approaching games with a renewed sense of urgency.
The Wildcats strong overall position was somewhat curbed through two games of District 7-5A competition, with a 82-76 loss to Hahnville and a 84-71 loss at home to Thibodaux leaving DHS with a district mark of 0-2 out the gate.
That said, scheduling has a bit to do with things, as both Thibodaux and Hahnville place within the top 10 teams in Class 5A power points, with Thibodaux entering the week as the top ranked team in that metric.
But Destrehan must nonetheless turn its district fortunes around, and fast, said DHS head coach Todd Bourg.
“We need to win the next few games,” Bourg said. “We’ll have Hahnville again soon and playing at Thibodaux will be a real challenge, but in the meantime we have to find a way to win these upcoming games. And in this district, you’ve gotta play every night. Nobody gives you anything easy.”
The Thibodaux loss, Bourg said, stung particularly because not only the district implications a win would bring, but also the power points haul. The Wildcats were in the thick of things before the last four minutes of play yielded a major cold spell of shooting, with Thibodaux holding Destrehan to 0-16 shooting from the floor.
“We had a chance to get them here at home and we let it slip away,” Bourg said.
Against Hahnville, the issue was the Tigers’ ability to get to the line and draw fouls against what was a suffocating Wildcat defense entering district play. Destrehan allowed more than 60 points just twice in 17 pre-district contests, both of those losses, but thus far in district play both opponents have topped the 70 point mark. Hahnville shot 33 free throws in last week’s rivalry clash.
“We’re reaching and fouling too much,” Bourg said. “We’re not very quick, but we’re long, we play a lot of zone … we can’t afford to give teams that many chances at the line. They call it the charity stripe for a reason. We’re making it too easy.”
Of course, Destrehan has done plenty right on the way to district play, and has set itself up to return to the postseason after a three season drought after posting 15 wins over their first 19 games. The scoring load has been carried by committee, with Chase Ellis catching fire in recent games—he posted 20 points in each of the first two district contests. Brothers Zalvin and Jalvin Michael and center Mako Marin are among those also leading the way, all of them returning standouts from last season.
“We’ve been sharing the ball real well,” Bourg said. “If we can cut down on the fouling, we’ll be in great shape.”
Destrehan travels to face Central Lafourche (4-11) Friday night and then heads to H.L. Bourgeois (12-9, 1-1) on Tuesday, both district contests.