ESJ comes up short against Slidell

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 27, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / Febuary 27, 1999

SLIDELL – A short-handed East St. John squad fell short in its bid to winits first playoff game on the road Tuesday night, losing at Slidell, 60-40.

The Lady Cats, ranked 12th in the state, finished the season at 25-8.

Slidell (21-8), the third-place qualifier out of District 5-5A, advanced to play John F. Kennedy in the quarterfinals.The loss marked the third straight year East St. John has lost on the roadin the regional round. The Lady Cats lost at Denham Springs in 1997 and atJohn Ehret last year. Conversely, East St. John is undefeated at home inthe playoffs over the past three seasons.

Slidell never trailed in the contest, jumping out to a 6-1 lead on a drive by Cindy Anderson. Kinya Lennix scored the Lady Cats’ first field goal of thegame with a jumper in the paint but the Lady Tigers came back with Jennifer Cloud hitting a jumper from the left corner and Anderson driving in to make it 10-3 with 4:27 left in the first quarter.

East St. John pulled to within three as Lennix grabbed a steal and took itin. But again Slidell had an answer as Rachel Pittman hit a jumper fromthe top of the key. The Slidell press then took over as Tanya Ducre grabbedconsecutive steals at midcourt, taking the first one in herself and passing off to Anderson on the second. Courtney Drayton hit two free throws tomake it 16-9 at the end of the first quarter.

Lennix brought East St. John to within four as her 3-pointer from the rightside bounced in. Lennix added another jumper to make it 18-16 with 4:25left in the first half.

That would be the closest the Lady Cats would get, however, as Slidell closed out the half on an 8-1 run. Pittman opened the run by banking in ajumper. On the Lady Cats’ ensuing possession, Ducre grabbed a steal andfound Cloud who banked in a short shot. Cloud later added a 3-pointer fromthe right wing as the Lady Tigers took a 26-17 lead into halftime.

Kovana Reese kept the deficit in single figures early in the second half, scoring on a jumper and a drive inside. Cloud came back with a 3-pointerfrom the top of the arc and Pittman added a jumper from the right wing to make it 37-23 with 3:50 remaining in the third quarter.

Reese brought the Lady Cats to within 12 with a 3-pointer from the right side but Cloud answered with one of her own from the same spot on the next possession to make it 42-27. Tina Kelly tossed in a jumper from theleft side at the buzzer to make it 49-30.

Slidell built a 20-point lead as Ducre found Anderson driving in from the right side. Lennix found Reese inside and came back with a 3-pointer fromthe right wing a possession later to bring the Lady Cats to within 55-40.

But Cloud converted a three-point play off a pass from Ducre on the next possession and Dee Dee Hagans drove in for the final score.

Cloud had 18 points to lead the Lady Tigers. Anderson tossed in 14 pointsand Ducre contributed 10.

Lennix led all scorers with 20 points. Reese added 15 points. The LadyCats were playing without two starters and a third, Drayton, was playing with a cold.

“We didn’t execute our game plan tonight,” East St. John coach TroyGiordano said. “We were short on everything. Short on people, short onplaying out game. We didn’t play our defense tonight.”

Dominican 71, Hahnville 46

NEW ORLEANS – Second-ranked Dominican ended Hahnville’s cinderella season in the regional playoffs Tuesday night with a 71-46 victory at Brother Martin.

Dominican (30-2) advances to play third-ranked Salmen in the quarterfinals. Hahnville completed its first winning season in a decadewith a 24-11 record.

Hahnville took a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter but Dominican came back to edge ahead, 28-26, at the half. Dominican then pulled away,out-scoring the Lady Tigers 28-8 in the third quarter.

Dominican’s Shenique Harris led all scorers with 17 points. KeannaBethencourt and Stephanie Stipe had 13 apiece to lead Hahnville.

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