Top-ranked team takes hold of district showdown
For three plus quarters on its home court, Hahnville went blow for blow with District 7-5A rival Thibodaux, the No. 1 ranked team in Class 5A power points.
But midway through the fourth quarter, Thibodaux landed a knockout blow and showed why it’s achieved its lofty rank this season, ultimately putting Hahnville away 73-55 Friday night.
Kobi Johnson scored a game-high 20 points to lead Thibodaux, scoring nine of those in the fourth quarter — including a dagger 3 that put Hahnville down nine early in the fourth. Marvin Robertson scored 15 and Rashad Robinson 10.
Kaden Pierre led Hahnville with 17 points. Dylan Lorio had 15 and Marcel Byrd had 10.
Hahnville (13-10, 1-2) led 37-36 at halftime, but Thibodaux (20-2, 4-0) surged in the third quarter to take an eventual six point lead into the fourth, 55-49.
That led into one of the game’s pivotal moments, when Hahnville point guard Dylan Lorio — who was wearing a protective facemask to shield a broken nose suffered recently in practice — caught a knee to the face by a falling Thibodaux defender. Lorio had to leave the game for a stretch and Hahnville was without its floor leader.
On the very next Thibodaux possession Johnson sank a wide open corner 3 to make to 60-51. After Hahnville answered on a trio of Claudell Harris free throws, Johnson’s driving layup made it 62-54
Lorio returned after approximately three minutes of gametime, but Thibodaux went up 10 on an inside score by Robinson. Hahnville was unable to push back into contention from there.
While Hahnville coach Yussef Jasmine acknowledged losing his point guard for that critical stretch didn’t help, he also said it was the kind of thing his team must be able to play through in order to get to the next level.
“When Dylan goes out, other people have to step up,” Jasmine said. “At the end of the day, if you want to be a championship-caliber team, you can’t be reliant on one, two or even three guys. And tonight I don’t think we had enough people step up and take on that task down the stretch tonight.”
The final score wasn’t indicative of how close the game was for much of the night, and Jasmine pointed to Thibodaux’s ability to close out the game strong as an example of what is possible when talent and discipline coincide.
“You overlook the discipline aspect sometimes when a team is so good, you just talk about the talent … but look at them tonight,” Jasmine said. “Thibodaux didn’t turn the ball over much. They didn’t miss free throws. That shows discipline. That shows focus.
“For us, it hurts to lose like that when you know you have the talent to win. But for this group of guys, it’s what we have to learn from … it’s about fighting for every loose ball and every offensive rebound, that’s how you win these types of games.”