The Hahnville boys basketball team has caught fire at just the right time, and will host Catholic of Baton Rouge this Friday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the playoffs.
The game will be played at R.K. Smith Middle School.
The last loss by the Tigers (24-7) came to Destrehan more than a month ago. Since then, Hahnville has reeled off eight straight wins, which allowed them to cruise to the 6-5A district championship with a 9-1 mark.
“We have been working really hard,” Tiger head coach Brian Lumar said. “This is an extremely tough district and to win the district championship is a big accomplishment for us.”
The Tigers began last week with a 55-49 victory over St. Amant, but their most important win came against East St. John last Friday. The Wildcats, who finished second in the district with a 7-3 mark, have always played the Tigers tough. That was the case once again.
Hahnville began the game hot, taking a 16-8 lead after the first quarter. But in the second, things began to change.
East St. John played some solid defense and went wild on offense to outscore the Tigers 20-10 in the period.
Trailing 26-28, Hahnville couldn’t take the lead back in the third period as East St. John increased their advantage to 42-37.
But just like they did the previous week against Destrehan, the Tigers proved that they play best with the game on the line. Led by Warren LeBeauf, the Tigers outscored the Wildcats 22-14 in the final period for the 59-56 victory.
LeBeauf finished the game with 16 points, while William Becnel added 12. Jarius Thomas and Derek Howard each had seven points.
“We are playing really well right now, but most importantly, we are playing hard, playing smart and playing together,” Lumar said. “I have a great group of kids both on and off the court.”
Last year, the Tigers made a surprise run all the way to the state championship. Lumar knew that a similar run would be tough due to the loss of three leading seniors.
“We lost lost our top three scorers, our top three defenders and three great leaders off of last years team, but we were still able to put together this type of year,” he said. “Everyone thought we were going to struggle heading into this season after having lost so much, but it’s a testament of what hard work will do for you.”
After winning their district, Hahnville was given the 11th seed in the playoffs. They will host 22nd-seeded Catholic of Baton Rouge at 7 p.m. at R.K Smith Middle School. Admission is $7.
“We plan on taking it one game at a time and letting the chips fall where they may,” Lumar said. “I feel that if we come and play the way we are capable of playing, then the sky is the limit.”