Being battle-tested come district season and playoff time is a priority of the Hahnville boys basketball program. Thus far this season, the Tigers have encountered some top competition and then some.
The Tigers (12-7) are 2-1 in three battles with a strong Carver team this season. Matchups with Peabody and Natchitoches Central went the way of the opponent. But each of those teams brings specific strengths to the table to give Jasmine and his staff a good idea of how the Tigers match up with each.
“We’ve seen a strong shooting team, a big team in Bonnabel, a team with good guard play in Peabody, a very balanced Natchitoches Central team … we’ve kind of seen it all, every style with competition at its best,” said Hahnville head coach Yussef Jasmine, now in his third season with the team.
Kaden Pierre has been shining on offense for Hahnville this season, and Marcel Byrd is a player Jasmine noted has taken a step forward this season – “he’s stepped it up, and when he plays well, we’ve been really good.”
What Jasmine would like to see done a bit better comes down to consistency. The difference between a few of the team’s seven losses becoming wins, he believes, is a matter of maintaining four complete quarters of intensity.
“I think in some games, we just haven’t turned up our level of competitiveness to where it needs to be,” Jasmine said. “The best teams compete buzzer to buzzer. I think we’ve done that for two and a half to three quarters, on average. We’re learning that it’s important to compete for all four.”
That said, the team’s defense has been strong throughout the year. Jasmine said this team is the most versatile he’s had at the defensive end since he took the program’s helm in 2017.
“When we’re playing man to man, we’re able to do a lot more now,” Jasmine said.
The Tigers begin District 7-5A play Tuesday as it travels to Terrebonne at 7 p.m. Then, on Friday, Hahnville will host East St. John, where Jasmine coached for nearly a decade before taking the helm of the Tiger program.