Though Hahnville fell in its first round Class 5A playoff game at Northshore, the Lady Tigers certainly have a foundation to build upon after a breakthrough 2018-19 season.
The team earned a co-district championship in 7-5A and went 21-13 this season, including a dominant 15-3 surge to cap the regular season.
“It was a journey,” said Hahnville coach Arrianna Martin. “The girls really started to understand what they needed to do and they truly played together. We didn’t have those situations where one person feels like they had to take over, but one where everyone contributed to our success.”
It was the first district championship in several seasons for Hahnville and the first under Martin, who took the program’s helm prior to the 2016-17 season.
More positive news is that the Tigers graduate just one senior, though a key player in Chardeidra Madison, who transferred to the school last May for her final season. But joining the returning players will be Kamryn Bartholomew, who broke out as a freshman but missed this season with a knee injury.
“(Madison) is definitely a loss to us who helped us a lot … Kamryn will be returning and that’s huge for us,” Martin said. “She’ll be an awesome addition to what we’ve accomplished this year. I know she’s hungry. I think the other girls are hungry for more as well.”
The playoff loss represented a bitter end for what was a strong season, a 67-44 loss to a Northshore team the Tigers had played tough earlier in the season in a 58-53 loss. Hahnville started the game strong, but Northshore took control in the second quarter and maintained it from there.
“Hopefully, we learn from it,” Martin said. “The tough thing for me to accept is this was a team we’d played before, and we know we can give them a better game. Northshore was ready to play a playoff basketball game. For us, I hope it’s a reminder that you show up all the time. Don’t leave yourself with ‘should haves.’”
The first game between the teams in the regular season was actually what Martin pointed at as a jumping off point for her team in the second half of the season. Following that loss, Hahnville went on to win its next eight games and set itself up for a district championship split with Thibodaux.
“That’s when I think the girls realized they had the opportunity to do something, to make their mark,” Martin said. “We went through some things this year and we persevered through them, which makes the success we had feel that much better.”