Wildcats fall to OPW & St. Aug, defeat Ben Franklin

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 21, 2007


Sports Editor

East St. John absorbed an early O.Perry Walker scoring surge and couldn’t recover, falling to the Chargers 82-60 on Monday.

Jamaan Kenner led the Wildcats with 13 points. Kalen Placide added 10, and Kelth Cameron scored eight.

The Chargers led 53-21 at halftime.

“They’re very, very athletic,” said East St. John coach Yussef Jasmine. “We can’t afford to turn it over like we have been, and we did not match their aggressiveness.”

Jasmine feels that his younger players might sometimes play in awe of the talent level of their often strong opposition.

“Sometimes, they seem amazed at the talent on the other side, and that slows them down. It takes us too long to get started.”

Last Friday, East St. John blew its game with Ben Franklin open in the second half. The Wildcats scored 43 points to only 25 for Ben Franklin after halftime, leading to a 73-49 East St. John win at the Shaw tournament.

Kenner scored 14. Cameron scored 12 and Perry Mason Jr. scored 12.

“We came out aggressively from the beginning,” said Jasmine. “We had just had a disappointing loss to Covington, so everyone came out focused. Everybody played very well for us.”

But on Saturday, the Wildcats’ Achilles heel reared its hear once again. Turnovers did in ESJ, as St. Augustine rode a 28-9 run in the second quarter to a basically insurmountable 53-21 halftime lead. the Purple Knights won 88-42.

Cameron scored 11 to lead the Wildcats. Kalen Henderson scored eight. Placide scored six.

“They knew the problems we’ve had taking care of the ball,” said Jasmine of St. Augustine. “But our biggest issue came on these unforced turnovers. We break the press and then turn it over.”

East St. John will return to action on Dec. 27 at the St. Martinville tourney.