Lady Cats get past scrappy St. Amant

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 11, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / December 11, 1999

RESERVE – East St. John held off a scrappy St. Amant team for a 57-41victory Thursday night in the East St. John gym.The win extended the Lady Cats’ (11-4) home winning streak to 36 games.

St. Amant fell to 2-8 on the season.East St. John, coming off an impressive victory at home over Mt. CarmelTuesday, led throughout but never could put away the Gators. The LadyCats led 31-21 at the break, a lead that grew to 38-23 early in the third quarter as Kavonna Reese banked in a 3-pointer and put back a shot and Ginina Louis hit two free throws.

With the lead at 43-29, Velinda Ard grabbed a steal and took it in. Reesefollowed with another steal, tossing to Danielle Stemley who found Kinya Lennix on the break to give the Lady Cats a 47-29 lead at the end of the third quarter.

St. Amant opened the final quarter with a 6-0 run on two free throws byAnna Guitrau and two layups by Latoya Brown. After Lennix found Reeseunderneath, Teri Clouatre hit a jumper from the left baseline and Brown followed with a steal, taking it in to cut the deficit to 49-39.

But with the Gators forced to go to man-to-man with the Lady Cats running out the clock, Lennix took over, hitting successive jump shots from inside the paint and finding Reese inside to make it 55-39 with three minutes remaining.

“They pulled out to man-to-man and couldn’t match up with us,” East St.

John coach Troy Giordano said. “When they went to man-to-man, that’swhen Kinya took over.”Lennix led all scorers with 20 points, 10 in each half. Reese contributed16 points and Ard nine.

Brown had 13 points for the Gators, 12 in the second half. Shea Webb wentthe other way, scoring all 12 of her points in the first 16 minutes.

East St. John jumped out to a 9-4 lead with 2:40 left in the first quarteron two put backs by Reese and two free throws by Ard. Lennix thenanswered a put back by Webb with one of her own, making it 11-6 at the end of the first quarter.

The Lady Cats built their lead to nine early in the second quarter. Ardopened the quarter with a put back. Reese then grabbed a steal and passedbehind her head to Stemley who found Louis on the left side to make it 15- 6. A steal by Louis and a layup by Lennix made it 21-8 with 6:08 left in thehalf.

East St. John continued to stretch its lead, going up 27-10 with 3:45 leftas Stemley took a steal in and Reese hit two free throws. With the lead 15after a Lennix jumper from the left baseline, Webb put back a shot and was fouled. Webb missed the free throw but Clouatre grabbed the reboundand after a held ball, Betsey Baldwin hit a 3-pointer from the left corner to make it 31-21 at the half.

“They were a scrappy team,” Giordano said. “They wouldn’t go away.Anytime we grab the lead they would come back. We couldn’t put themaway and ice it. But a win’s a win. We take it and move on to St. Jamesnext Thursday.

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