ESJ captures opener

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 15, 2000

RESERVE – East St. John head basketball coach Troy Giordano could not haveasked for more from a season opener.

The Lady Cats opened the season Monday night with a 63-40 victory over Carver, extending the team’s home winning streak to 49 games. Everybodyon the team got to play and the Lady Cats got to work on a variety of offenses and defenses.

“I told the girls before the game, half the teams in the state will be 1-0 after tonight and the other half will be 0-1,” Giordano said. “We wanted to start 1-0. It was a great way to start the season. Everything we wanted to do, wedid.”East St. John (1-0) was led by its co-captains, Kinya Lennix and DanielleStemley. Lennix had a team-high 16 points while Stemley added another 11.Freshman Erin Keller chipped in with 10 in her first high school game. AshleyPorter came off the bench to score eight.

Keana Brittin had a game-high 18 points for Carver (0-1). Erika Gadduscontributed 11 points.

Carver jumped out to a 6-2 lead on a drive by Brittin with 5:20 left in the first quarter. East St. John answered with a 16-0 run to close out thequarter. Stemley gave the Lady Cats the lead for good at 9-6 with a 3-pointer from the right side with 3:55 left in the quarter.

Kojavona Hamilton, another freshman playing her first game, then intercepted a pass in the backcourt and drove in for two. Stemley drainedanother 3-pointer from the top of the key, then took an outlet pass from Drayton off a rebound in for a layup to make it 18-6 at the end of the first quarter.

A 3-pointer from the right arc by Keller and a three-point play by Lennix made it a 24-8 game midway through the second quarter. Carver went on a6-0 run to pull to within 31-14, capped by a drive and a jumper by Gaddus.

East St. John responded with a put back by Lacrisha Walker to make it 37-14with 45 seconds left. Three-pointers by Jasmine Collins and Gaddus cut thedeficit to 37-20 at the break.

East St. John pulled away again at the beginning of the third quarter. VelindaArd put back a miss and Lennix drove the lane for another layup to build the lead to 47-23 with 3:27 left in the third quarter. A jumper in the lane byPorter and a put back by Jada Mason gave the Lady Cats a 51-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Another jumper by Porter and a drive along the right baseline by Keller gave East St. John it’s biggest lead of the game at 55-26 with seven minutesremaining.

East St. John opened play in the Hammond Tournament last night againstIndependence.

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