As it won five out of six games over a two-week span in mid-January, Hahnville began to show a glimpse of its potential under first-year coach Arrianna Smith-Martin. Victories over Riverside, De La Salle, Terrebonne, Central Lafourche and H.L. Bourgeois pulled the team’s win total to 11, and while the Tigers won’t post a winning record this season — they’re 11-16 with just two games left — a Hahnville team that rosters just three senior players could have a bright future.
“For me, people were rising to the occasion,” Martin said. “They’re seeing the game differently and playing team ball, understanding it’s not just about what one person does individually. We’re playing harder and playing for four quarters, something we’ve stressed throughout the year.”
Defense was the constant in those five wins. Hahnville allowed 38 points or less in each of those victories, and while the team’s offensive production has been inconsistent this season, Smith said the Tigers understand what their identity must be at that end to have success.
“When we’re patient, when we take care of the ball, we have success,” Smith said. “The defense has been there. When we turn it over we struggle.”
In a 55-25 win over Central Lafourche, the Tigers handled their business in all aspects. Yasah Gale scored 13 points, while Makaila Carter scored 12 and Paceley Williams 10.
In the team’s 37-29 win at Bourgeois, Williams led all scorers with 16 points. Carter added 10.
The Tigers’ 53-32 home win over Terrebonne saw Carter score 17 and Paceley 15.
While Carter and Gale have been the offensive linchpins for the team since last season, Paceley has made a progressively bigger impact as her freshman season rolls on.
“Hopefully, she keeps making strides,” Martin said. “When you’re a freshman, some girls have that middle school mentality that you can just exist out there and it’s ok. I want them to look at the bigger picture. With Paceley, we’re looking for that consistency at both ends on the court each night.”