ESJ runs past Welsh

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / December 22, 1999

RESERVE – East St. John met an old nemesis, Welsh, in the first round ofthe Riverside Tournament Monday night.

But this time, an 8-0 run at the end of the first half helped the Lady Wildcats pull away to a 73-55 victory. East St. John (13-5) played AlbanyTuesday night while Welsh (7-7) played Lutcher. Albany defeated Lutcher,59-31, in earlier action Monday.

Welsh tied the game at 28 with 2:05 left in the first half on two free throws by Sara Johnson. East St. John answered a possession later asDanielle Stemley grabbed a steal and fed Kinya Lennix ahead for a layup.

After Stemley followed with a 3-pointer from the right wing, Ginina Louis stole the inbounds pass, drove in and was fouled, completing the three- point play to make it 36-28 at halftime.

Velinda Ard made it a 12-point lead early in the third quarter on a three- point play on a put back. Welsh rallied, pulling to within 44-41 on a driveby Johnson, a put back by Candice Ardoin and a jumper by Ashley Batiste.

But Lennix came back with a rebound, tossing the shot back in from the right baseline, and hitting the free throw to start a 6-0 run for East St.

John. Another jumper by Lennix made it 50-41 heading into the fourthquarter.

East St. John built on that lead early in the fourth quarter as Louis glidedin and then found Lennix on successive possessions to make it 56-43.

Welsh again cut the deficit to 10 on a drive by Tina Jenkins but the Lady Cats answered with a jumper by Kavona Reese in the paint and a layup by Louis off a steal to build the lead back to 63-49.

Lennix finished with a team-high 21 points for the Lady Cats. Louis added19 points while Reese contributed 17, 15 in the second half. Batistescored a game-high 22 points for Welsh, 15 of which came in the first half. Johnson tossed in another 14 points.”They’re a good team,” East St. John coach Troy Giordano said of Welsh.”Anytime you play a good team, they are going to give you problems. Rightbefore the half, we made a good run and that gave us momentum. We madeadjustments at the half and were able to slow down their inside game and once we were able to do that, we started to pull away.”Welsh led in the first quarter before East St. John went ahead 13-12 on ajumper in the paint by Lennix. A jumper from the free throw line byStemley and a drive by Lennix gave the Lady Cats a 17-13 lead after the first quarter.

A 3-pointer from the right corner by Louis and a drive by Lennix made it 22-15 early in the second quarter. Welsh pulled to within two on a three-point play by Batiste before Lennix came back with a jumper to make it 27-25.

East St. John opens district play Tuesday at home against SouthTerrebonne before traveling to Hahnville Thursday.

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