Tigers eye second half district run

Hahnville coach Phillip Bychurch sees plenty to like when his Tigers take the floor these days, though wins have been scarce of late.

The Tigers went 1-2 at the Allstate Sugar Bowl tournament then split a pair of district contests, besting Terrebonne but falling to East St. John. 

With a record of 11-12 overall and 2-3 in District 7-5A play, the Tigers must begin their push now to retain hope of qualifying for the postseason.

“My message to the team is to keep playing hard,” Bychurch said. “We need to find a way to swipe a win or wins in this second round of district play against teams like Destrehan, East St. John and Thibodaux. Beyond them, we’ve got to win those other games and take care of business.

“I think we’re starting to come together as a group. We’re starting to realize what we need to do and how we need to do it to have success.”

Hahnville dominated Belle Chasse at the Sugar Bowl tourney, winning 61-20, but lost games to Helen Cox, 43-34, and Dominican, 36-31 — the latter game in the tournament opener. 

Despite the two losses, Bychurch said he wanted his team to show their mettle against a slate of good teams and the third-year HHS coach felt the tournament experience as a whole was a plus for his group.

“I thought the weekend was phenomenal all the way through,” Bychurch said. “We struggled in the first half of our opener (against Dominican), but I thought we did a good job regrouping. We played hard and didn’t commit a lot of turnovers. Against Belle Chasse, we really put it all together to close things out.”

In the team’s 62-48 win over Terrebonne, Hahnville’s Makaila Carter scored 21 points to lead the way. Yasah Gale added 17.  

“We handled everything well,” Bychurch said. “They hurt us on the boards at both ends, but we were able to overcome that. Down the stretch, we shot our free throws very well.”

Carter, Bychurch said, has been emerging of late as a scorer.

“She’s had that role of ball handler but she’s been putting up points,” Bychurch said. “I think she’s becoming more confident in shooting the ball and taking it to the rim. Now she’s starting to hit her shot from the outside, and it’s making everything easier.”

Hahnville fell 59-31 to East St. John. Gale led the way for the Tigers with 11 points while Carter scored eight. 

“They overpowered us,” Bychurch said. “Their inside game really hurt us. They’re a tough group to match up with on the interior.”

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