Hahnville found its most success in years on the basketball court last season, and the Tigers have shown they’re hungry for more.
The Tigers are 4-1 overall thus far and went 2-1 at last week’s first-annual Hahnville Invitational tournament, hosting a field of teams that included St. James, Carver, West Jefferson, Rummel and Jasmine’s former school, East St. John.
“I thought for a holiday tournament, we had a pretty good crowd,” said Jasmine, in his second year with Hahnville after spending a decade leading the ESJ program. “I think we’re doing some good things. Our one loss, to Carver, I think let us know some of the things we have to work on defensively, but I’ve also been real impressed with how long our guys are battling at that end.”
Jasmine said specifically, Carver attacked the glass to win what was a rematch from Hahnville’s first game of the season, where the Tigers bested the Rams.
“Because of our lack of size, we’ve got to do it as a unit,” Jasmine said. “In that first game, that’s what we did. Down the stretch, we didn’t make enough plays to win the second one, but overall, I’m pretty happy with the way we’ve started the season.”
Point guard Dylan Lorio leads a core group of young players that include sophomores Claudell Harris Jr. and Kaden Pierre and junior Takourin Grows.
Lorio, Jasmine said, is starting to hit his stride as the team’s point guard.
“I think the transition for him, like it is with a lot of young kids, is they all want to score the ball and they’re a little eager to do that,” Jasmine said. “Now, he’s taking better shots, he’s selective and more composed. He’s just continuing to mature.”
With Jasmine’s arrival last season, he became the fourth head basketball coach of the program over a five-year period. Building confidence and an expectation to win was a big part of laying the foundation for success: Hahnville won 21 games last season and hosted a playoff game for the first time in almost a decade.
This season’s group of Tigers represent a new attitude though, as the success of last season is largely all they know.
“This group is returning from a playoff team, a team that won a lot of games, and then we had some success against a slate of good programs over the summer,” Jasmine said. “I think our older kids last season had to overcome that shock of having to deal with a new coach each year and some down seasons.”
This week, Hahnville is competing at the Sophie B. Wright tournament, where Jasmine expects his team to be tested.
“No doubt about it, but that’s always what I’m looking for as a coach,” Jasmine said. “I want us to play the most competitive games we can early on to prepare us to make that run in district and in the playoffs.”