Though a lopsided loss to Destrehan halted Hahnville’s winning streak at three, the Lady Tigers enter the season’s final stretch playing its best basketball of the season — and not a second too soon.HHS (14-13) is back over .500 after besting four of its past six district opponents, defeating Central Lafourche, 45-30, H.L. Bourgeois, 53-37, and Thibodaux, 41-30; the H.L. Bourgeois win came at Hahnville, while the other two were contested on the road.
The Tigers (14-13, 5-4 in District 7-5A) have three regular season games left and will likely have to win them all to have a chance to reach the postseason.
“We have to win out,” Hahnville coach Phil Bychurch said.
The most significant of those victories was the one at Thibodaux, against a THS team that appears headed for the playoffs with a 14-9 record. Thibodaux blew out Hahnville 59-26 at Hahnville on Dec. 28, but HHS completely turned the tables last week.
“We go back and beat them by 11 at their place … no doubt, that’s huge,” Bychurch said. “We slowed the pace and got them a little aggravated. We didn’t turn the ball over and that kept them working in the halfcourt.”
Bychurch said the most critical factor in his team’s recent success has been its level of defensive play. Hahnville allowed 37 points or less in those three wins.
“We’re successful when we play good defense, bottom line,” Bychurch said. “We’ve created offense, but we’re at our best when we’re getting it done at the defensive end. We’re covering our areas and stretching our defense out while our backside defenders are doing a good job helping on the strong side. We’re doing a better job rebounding and it makes a big difference.”
In Friday’s loss to a powerhouse Destrehan team, an 80-27 decision, Bychurch credited the Wildcats but said his team lost its way at the defensive end in that game and must return to form when it takes its home court against Terrebonne Friday night.
Bychurch credited sophomore point guard Makaila Carter for her continued ascension in play, and also gave a nod to fellow sophomore Reagan Crawford, a 5’11 forward who has been coming on strong.
“She’s scoring for us, (and) doing a great job of finishing at the basket,” Bychurch said.
Next week, Hahnville will have key games against East St. John (15-7) and Central Lafourche (1-24). The ESJ game comes on the road and may be the most pivotal of the three—like Thibodaux, ESJ bested Hahnville by a lopsided score in the first round of district play.