Giordano believes playoff spot is clinched with victory Tuesday night against Hahnville

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 7, 2005


Sports Editor

RESERVE-He has been to the Sweet 16 on numerous occasions, but this may be his most satisfying season yet for East St. John Lady Wildcat Head Coach Troy Giordano.

After a very difficult struggle to start the season, the East St. John girls basketball team all but clinched a playoff spot this past Tuesday when they defeated Hahnville 57-44.

Stasha Thomas led the Wildcats with 15 points and Nikkita Hutchinson had 14 points. Randi Donald also added 10 points.

With the win the Wildcats are now 22-14 on the season and 10-3 in district 6-5A.

“I really think we have sewn up a playoff spot,” Giordano said. “Which is really big. This team deserves to be in the playoffs. We started off this season 3-9 and now we are 22-14.

“These kids have really fought back. They could have given up many a time and quit. They could have just turned it in. They didn’t do that. They really deserve to be in the playoffs.”

Outscoring Hahnville 23-11 in the second quarter, Giordano said the defense was the biggest key.

“We didn’t press them at all in the full court,” Giordano said. “It was just half court press, half court press, half court press. We played it really well.

“We boxed out really well and they were just getting one shot only. We really played tough.”

Giordano was very happy to see a team that faced as much adversity as the 2004-05 squad make it back into the playoffs.

“I am definitely happy for these girls and really proud of them. People don’t understand that they could have just mailed it in. They could have quit on us many a time. The kids really stuck together.

“The kids are smart. They know that we were not 100-percent. They know that we have been battling the injury bug throughout the season. Everybody was down on them. The Times-Picayune does an article on them about a nightmare season. These kids realized that everybody kind of gave up on them. The great thing is that they didn’t give up on themselves. It’s a tremendous accomplishment for them.”