2000-01 All-River Parishes Girls Basketball Team

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 24, 2001


PHOTO: KINYA LENNIX – MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AND TROY GIORDANO – COACH OF THE YEAR The 2000-01 season was one of the most memorable in recent years for the River Parishes. Seven of the nine teams advanced to the postseason. Riverside and Reserve Christian won their first playoff games and Destrehan joined them in the regionals. East St. John became the first area team to make it to the Sweet 16 in 13 years and the first to make it to the title game before falling to John Ehret.

Kinya Lennix East St. John Senior Forward Most Valuable Player

Before the 2000-01 season started, few would have predicted East St. John to make it to Hammond for the Sweet 16. But all year, Lennix kept saying that the Lady Cats would be among that number come the first week of March. Lennix helped lead the Lady Cats to that pinnacle, enjoying one of her finest seasons in a stellar prep career. She finished her four years as the teams all-time leading scorer with over 2,000 points. Lennix was involved in more wins than any player in the programs history. Her 43 points against South Terrebonne earlier this season set another record. “She was the best athlete Ive ever coached,” East St. John head coach Troy Giordano said. “She loved the game of basketball and it showed.” Lennix was the MVP of both District 7-5A and the Metro area after averaging 17.1 points, six rebounds, 1.1 assists and two steals a contest. But it was in the postseason where she stepped up. Lennix led the team in scoring all five postseason games, averaging 20 points per game. She was named to the all-Sweet 16 team after scoring 26 points and grabbing 11 rebounds against Ruston in the semifinals and adding 11 points against John Ehret in the finals. Lennix will continue her career on the next level, having signed with Tulane. “We met all of our accomplishments as far as the beginning of the season,” Lennix said. “We had a great season. Im going to miss my teammates and my coaches. I had a great time.”

Troy Giordano East St. John Coach of the Year

After a 1997-98 season that saw East St. John win 29 games, including 28 in a row, Lady Cats head coach Troy Giordano called it a once in a lifetime season. Well, the Lady Cats had a 2000-01 season that topped even that one. As Goose said in Top Gun, the list of East St. Johns accomplishments was long but distinguished. A team record 33 victories. A 22-game winning streak. A fifth-straight District 7-5A title. The third undefeated district season in five years. A first-ever victory in the regionals which also extended the teams home-winning streak to 59 games. The first River Parishes team to make it to the Sweet 16 since Hahnville in 1988. The first area team and the first from the current District 7-5A to make it to the championship game. Giordano and assistant coach Bob Payne brought it all together and they did it without a player over 5-10. With its top rebounder and top defender having graduated the year before. With a schedule that included the likes of Amite, Loranger, Dominican and East Ascension. They overcame all those obstacles to lead the Lady Cats to a spot that few, except the team itself, thought possible at the beginning of the season.

Kojavona Hamilton East St. John Freshman Guard

Hamilton had a break-out freshman season for the Lady Cats in their drive to the Class 5A championship game. She was named to the all-District 7-5A team after averaging 10.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Hamilton led the team in rebounds and averaged 10 boards a game in district play. She picked it up when it counted, averaging 12 points a game in the four playoff games leading up to the title game.

Heather Heltz St. Charles Catholic Sophomore Guard

Heltz was one of the go-to players for the Lady Comets this past season. The sophomore guard led the team with 8.6 points per game, averaging 10.4 points a contest in district. The second team all-District 9-3A pick also averaged three assists and two rebounds a game.

Erin Keller East St. John Freshman Guard

Like Hamilton, Keller enjoyed a standout freshman season for the Lady Cats in 2000-01. She was the defensive MVP in District 7-5A after averaging 1.8 steals a contest. Keller also got it done on the offensive end, averaging 8.7 points, three rebounds and 1.8 assists a game.

Raven Malancon St. James Sophomore Forward

Malancon was a bright spot for the Lady Wildcats in 2000-01. The honorable mention all-District 9-3A pick averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds per game.

Joevone Markey Destrehan Senior Center

One of the major reasons Destrehan advanced to the Class 5A regionals this year was its inside game led by Markey and Ashley Sentimore. Markey is making her second straight appearance on the all-River Parishes team and was also a first team all-District 7-5A selection. She capped her career with another stellar season, averaging 14.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.4 blocks a contest. Markey has signed to play at UNO next year.

Janell Morris West St. John Junior Center

Morris helped the Lady Rams advance to the Class 2A bi-district playoffs during the 2000-01 season with a 9-15 record. The all-District 9-2A selection averaged 10.2 points and nine rebounds per game. She really stepped up in district play, averaging 11.8 points a contest.

Toyelle Rickson Hahnville Junior Forward

Rickson was one of the top all-around players in the River Parishes this season. She helped the Lady Tigers earn a playoff spot with a 16-13 record. She had a team-high 18 points in the playoff game against eventual state champion John Ehret. For the season, Rickson led all the big schools in the River Parishes with 21 points per game. She finished with eight rebounds per contest in being named to the all-River Parishes team for a third time and to the all-District 7-5A squad.

Crystal Rome Riverside Sophomore Guard

Rome followed up an outstanding freshman season with an outstanding freshman one. She helped the Lady Rebels to the playoffs with a 17-13 record. Against Sumner in the bi-district round, Rome scored 29 points as the Lady Rebels won their first ever playoff game in the LHSAA. She followed that with 26 points in the regional loss against Jackson. Rome finished the season as the leading scorer for all small schools (Class 3A and below) in the River Parishes with 21 points per game. For her accomplishments, she was named to the all-District 9-2A and all-Metro teams.

Ashley Sentimore Destrehan Sophomore Forward

Sentimore was one of Destrehans key players in the paint. The sophomore made the all-District 7-5A first team as well as all-Metro after averaging 16.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and three blocks per game. Sentimore is making a second straight appearance on the all-River Parishes team.

Trenese Smith Reserve Christian Eighth Grade Guard

Smith was one of the key reasons why the Lady Eagles made it to the state playoffs for the first time in the LHSAA. She scored a game-high 25 points in leading the Lady Eagles to a victory over Starkey in the bi-district playoffs. Smith was an all-District 12-B selection after helping the Lady Eagles to a 16-12 overall record.

Danielle Stemley East St. John Senior Guard

Stemley was one of the floor leaders for the Lady Cats on their run to the Class 5A state championship game. Her jumper in the final minutes was a key play in the teams quarterfinal win at East Ascension. Stemley was one of the best defenders in the area, finishing her career as the teams all-time leading steals leader with 338. This season, she averaged 3.1 steals per game to go with 8.3 points, three assists and two rebounds per contest in being named all-District 7-5A. Stemley, East St. Johns co-captain in 2000-01, will continue her career at the next level after signing with SUNO.

Megan Stock Destrehan Sophomore Guard

Stock was one of the best outside shooters in the area. The sophomore is making a return appearance on the all-River Parishes team and was an all-District 7-5A selection after averaging 12.5 points, six rebounds and six assists a game.

Kaneeka Taylor Lutcher Junior Guard

Taylor helped the Lady Bulldogs make it back to the Class 3A bi-district playoffs this past season with a 14-20 record. She was an all-District 9-3A first team selection and an all-Metro pick after averaging 15.5 points, three assists, 2.5 rebounds and three steals a game.

Cashmir White Hahnville Sophomore Center

White controlled the inside for the Lady Tigers in 2000-01, helping them to a berth in the Class 5A bi-district playoffs. White was named to the all-District 7-5A team after averaging 16.2 points and 10.1 rebounds per game during the 2000-01 season. MVP: Kinya Lennix, East St. John Coach of the Year: Troy Giordano, East St. John Kojavona Hamilton, East St. John Heather Heltz, St. Charles Catholic Erin Keller, East St. John Raven Malancon, St. James Joevone Markey, Destrehan Janell Morris, West St. John Toyelle Rickson, Hahnville Crystal Rome, Riverside Ashley Sentimore, Destrehan Trenese Smith, Reserve Christian Danielle Stemley, East St. John Meagan Stock, Destrehan Kaneeka Taylor, Lutcher Cashmir White, Hahnville