Lady Tigers look for tournament surge for hopeful playoff push

Though Hahnville is off to a winning start, the Lady Tigers have some ground to close to reach the state playoffs. They could do themselves a lot of good this weekend.

Though Hahnville is off to a winning start, the Lady Tigers have some ground to close to reach the state playoffs. They could do themselves a lot of good this weekend.

The Tigers (10-9) are set to take part in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Classic tournament at Westwego’s Alario Center, competing in the “Gold bracket.” 

The bracket also includes Ursuline, Dominican, Helen Cox, Slidell, Terrebonne, Hannan, Chapelle, Woodlawn, West St. John, Covington, De La Salle, Riverside, Sacred Heart, Belle Chasse and Jewel Sumner. With HHS entering play hovering around the 40 mark in power point rankings, a few wins over that slate at the tourney could go a long way — Dominican, for example, was ranked No. 20 at the beginning of the week. 

Hahnville coach Phil Bychurch said the competition will be tough, and while the Tigers aim to win it all, more than anything he is looking for mental toughness from his players this weekend. 

“We need to keep things positive, no matter who we match up with, and keep playing our game,” Bychurch said. “No matter who we play, give ourselves a chance, stay within striking distance for when we get to the fourth quarter.”

The Tigers did all of the little things throughout the Haynes tournament last week. Hahnville went 2-1 there, besting Academy of Our Lady, 41-33, and host Haynes, 45-30, while falling to Northshore in a tight 40-39 contest.

Bychurch was pleased with his team’s patience with the ball throughout the tournament, something he said was lacking in his team’s 59-26 district opening loss to Thibodaux.

“We handled their pressure,” Bychurch said. “We struggled on the boards a little, getting bodies on bodies, and that’s what we need to work on. I thought our guards did a real nice job of breaking down the pressure and taking care of the basketball. We did the little things we needed to do to stay ahead. We need to do that consistently to have success.

Yasah Gale is averaging 12 points a game to lead Hahnville so far this season. Makaila Carter averages nine and Rikkiyana Davis adds six points per game. 

Both tournaments should leave the Tigers better equipped to handle the stretch run. District 7-5A games at Terrebonne and at home against East St. John loom next week, and a two-victory stretch would put HHS above water in district competition. 

“We’ve got to beat the teams we need to beat and find a way to close ground on the teams ahead of us,” Bychurch said. “Teams in our district, Thibodaux, Destrehan, East St. John, they’re all extremely athletic and tough. We have to try and overcome that and get a win (when HHS faces those teams).”

Even more than in the Haynes tourney, patience, he said, will be a virtue.

“We turned the ball over too many times against Thibodaux,” he said. “If we try and rush things, that’s when we really get into trouble.”

About Ryan Arena 1717 Articles
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