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Destrehan Wildcats win 71-58 against St. John

By Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / January 23, 1998

DESTREHAN – Brett Simon buried a key 3-pointer in the early minutes ofthe fourth quarter as the Destrehan Wildcats pulled away from East St.John in the final eight minutes for a 71-58 victory Friday night.

The victory improved the Wildcats’ record to 10-9 on the season and 2-3in District 6-5A play. East St. John fell to 7-11 overall and 1-4 indistrict.

David Green poured in a team-high 17 points for the Wildcats. DemondRichard contributed another 15, while Tavon walker added 14.

Robert Joseph scored a game-high 22 points to help keep East St. John inthe game. Roydell Williams tossed in 18 points, while Clement Carterchipped in eight points.

Destrehan took a 47-43 lead into the final quarter and immediately addedto that on its first possession as Walker drove in for a layup. After Josephand Green traded baskets, Williams buried a turnaround jumper from theleft side to bring East St. John to within 51-47.

On Destrehan’s ensuing possession, Johnny Richard drove inside and kickedthe ball back out to Simon who knocked in the 3-pointer from the left sidewith 6:13 left. Williams answered by driving down the lane and tossingdown a one-handed slam, but Demond Richard countered by driving for alayup to give Destrehan a 56-49 lead. East St. John would not be able topull any closer as the Wildcats went on a 14-4 run.

On East St. John’s next possession, Simon grabbed a steal, passed toWalker, who tossed to Johnny Richard coming in from the left side to startthe Destrehan rally. Simon popped in a jumper and Johnny Richard andDemond Richard skied to tip in misses to build the advantage to 66-51.

After Joseph tossed in two free throws, Green came back with a jump shotand Demond Richard tossed in a pair of foul shots to give Destrehan itsbiggest lead of the night at 70-53. East St. John didn’t quit, however, asJoseph hit three free throws and Williams scored on a put back to bringthe Wildcats to within 71-58 at the final buzzer.

Destrehan found itself in dogfight in the third quarter after taking a 34-27 lead into halftime. Joseph opened the scoring in the second half with a3-pointer before Travis Green and David Green scored on drives to buildthe lead back to seven.

East St. John then mounted a comeback as Floyd Smith found Williamsdriving the left baseline. Williams continued the run on the Wildcats’ nextpossession, popping in a jumper from the free throw line. After aDestrehan timeout and a steal by Greg Gathers, Williams rebounded a missby Carter and put it back to bring East St. John to within 40-39.

The teams traded baskets before Walker grabbed a steal, drove toward thehoop, stopped and popped in a jumper from the free throw line. Williamsbrought East St. John to within two with a pair of free throws with fiveseconds left in the quarter. Destrehan caught a break on its ensuingpossession as East St. John was called for a technical foul for hitting thebackboard while attempting to block Walker’s layup attempt. Walker sankboth free throws to give Destrehan a four-point lead heading into the finalquarter.

Destrehan raced out to a 7-4 lead to open the game on baskets by DemondRichard and Walker. East St. John rallied, taking a 8-7 lead as Cartergrabbed a steal at midcourt and threw down a one-handed slam. ButDestrehan answered with a 14-6 run to close the quarter and never lookedback. Travis Green’s tip-in at the buzzer gave Destrehan a 21-16 leadheading into the second quarter.

Destrehan opened up its lead as the second quarter opened as David Greenknocked down a jumper from the right side. After a jumper by Williams,Travis Green answered with a put back and Demond Richard drove the leftbase for another layup to give the Wildcats a 27-18 advantage.

East St. John again rallied as Williams broke behind the defense for alayup. Samuel Martin then grabbed a steal and took it coast-to-coast forthe score. After a jump shot by David Green, Carter and Joseph scoredinside to cut the deficit to 29-27. But Destrehan came right back as Walker drove the lane and dished toJeremy Parquet underneath. In the waning seconds of the half, Parquetgrabbed two rebounds, putting back the second while being fouled. He sankthe free throw, giving the Wildcats a seven-point halftime advantage.Destrehan coach Mike McGuire said better ball handling was the key,pointing to the Wildcats turning the ball over only four times in thesecond half, helping them get shots inside.

“I am pleased with the way everybody played,” McGuire said. “We played agood game. We were able to get shots in the paint in the fourth quarter andDavid Green and Demond Richard played a big game.”

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