Lady Wildcats struggle in loss at EA, fall to 0-2 in district

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Sports Editor

The schedule couldn’t have been much tougher for the East St. John Lady Wildcats last week.

Following a district road loss last Tuesday to Hahnville, East St. John traveled again on Friday night to face East Ascension. According to the LHSAA power point rankings, Hahnville is rated third in Class 5A; East Ascension, first.

The Wildcats faired no better on Friday, falling 52-37 to the Spartans.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well, and they’re bigger and stronger than us, so they also had the advantage on the boards,” said East St. John Coach Troy Giordano. “If you can’t make your shots and you can’t control the boards, you’ve got problems.”

East Ascension (8-3, 2-0), currently ranked No. 6 in Class 5A, led by three moments before halftime, but the Spartans converted a basket just before halftime to extend their lead to five, 28-23.

From there, East Ascension outscored East St. John (16-11, 0-2) 14-8 in the third quarter, making it a double-digit game entering the fourth quarter, 42-31. The Wildcats couldn’t respond.

“They sat in their zone, gave us looks from the outside, and we couldn’t make a shot,” said Giordano. “If anyone could have hit a few shots, we’d have had a chance, but everyone was off on the same night.”

Laci Dent and Christin Hildreth each scored nine for the Wildcats. Mechel’le Thomas added six.

Kaneesha Grant scored 17 points to lead East Ascension. Jaquetta Stewart added 11.

In the wake of the two losses, leaving Giordano 0-2 in district play for the first time in his career at East St. John, says that his message to his team has been simple.

“I told the kids that we have to win our next three games,” said Giordano. “That puts us at 3-2 through the first round of district play. The good news is that the two losses were on the road against two of the top teams in the state.

“If we can get to that point, they all come to us in the next round.”

Four of East St. John’s last five district games will come at home.

Now, Giordano waits to see how his young group, which includes only two seniors, will bounce back.

“As a coach, I’m seeing a young team that doesn’t yet know how to respond to this,” Giordano said. “It may be starting to wear on them. We’ll find out more (against St. Amant on Tuesday).”