Hahnville carried a .500 record into the week through 16 games, and as the Lady Tigers begin district play, head coach Arrianna Martin says it’s time for her team to establish some consistency and make a true push for the postseason.
Martin believes her team is talented and experienced enough to make a breakthrough after finishing with a record of 15-16 last season, but doing so will come down to the Tigers changing their mentality.
“It’s not a matter of not playing hard, but you can see a lot of inconsistent ups and downs with our play over four quarters,” Martin said. “I think it’s really that we don’t know how to finish. We have the ability to win games but we’re not finishing what we start and we’re not putting teams away, and I think that’s about establishing a mentality.”
When the Tigers are clicking, it really shows defensively. Not unlike Martin’s earlier Hahnville teams, this is a quick, attacking group that can create turnovers defensively and turn steals into transition offense. When it’s working, Hahnville can roll, as evidenced in blowout wins over John Ehret, St. James and Morgan City.
But at other times, the aggressiveness can work against the team, leading to fouls, and at other times Martin said the team’s not taking full advantage of the opportunities it’s generating on defense.
“If we could just finish layups and make free throws consistently, that would go a really long way,” she said. “You can shoot 30 free throws in a game, but if you only make 10, or half of them, you’re going to have that inconsistent play and you’re not putting anyone away.”
There are signs Hahnville is starting to put things together, though. A loss to a annually strong program in Ellender last Friday saw the Tigers in the thick of things until a late third quarter 3-point shooting surge by the Patriots led to an eventual 68-54 win. The Tigers bounced back quickly with a 55-38 win over Lutcher.
Junior Danae Lorio has become a go-to player for the team, scoring 11 against Lutcher and 21 in the Ellender loss. Sophomore Kori Joseph and junior Paceley Williams have also provided scoring punch in the backcourt and frontcourt, respectively, while junior center Yelah Moses has been a major factor defensively.
Beginning play at the Walker High tournament, Hahnville will face Port Allen today, Assumption tomorrow and Carencro Saturday before returning home for a Tuesday night District 7-5A clash with H.L. Bourgeois. Then the Tigers will have an extended break before returning to action for the first of two rivalry showdowns with Destrehan, that game set for R.K. Smith Middle School on Jan. 2.