ESJ Lady Cats score big district win over Destrehan, 58-35 win over Destrehan
Published 12:00 am Friday, January 25, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
With the playoff hopes of two teams on the line on Tuesday, East St. John stepped up in a big way on the road.
Meche’le Thomas scored 17 points to lead the Lady Wildcats as they won at Destrehan, 58-35.
Both East St. John (18-12, 2-3) and Destrehan (14-14, 1-4) entered the game with three District 6-5A losses, and almost assuredly needed a win to stay alive for a top three position.
“We came out with intensity. We knew we had to, because it was a must-win game for us,” said East St. John’s Christin Hildreth. “We had to win to have a shot in district.”
Hildreth and the Wildcats set the tone early defensively, outscoring Destrehan 14-5 in the first quarter. Hildreth had three blocked shots in the period, as Destrehan struggled to establish any scoring presence inside.
It got no better for Destrehan in the second quarter, as a Laci Dent jumper kick started a 20-point second quarter for East St. John, who carried a 34-16 lead into halftime.
ESJ’s pressure was relentless in the period, forcing Destrehan into eight second quarter turnovers.
Destrehan’s offense struggled all night with the absence of two of its top players, guard Tawanna Lee and forward Ladaisha Smith.
“They’re down two starters, and as I told my kids, when you’re in this situation, you have to have a killer instinct. You’ve got to come into their gym and put them away early,” said East St. John Coach Troy Giordano.
“Of course, I’m disappointed that they‘re hurt,” he continued. “Those are good kids. It’s a rivalry game, and you want to see everyone healthy. But nonetheless, you don’t want your kids to come in and let up because they know two starters are out.”
East St. John delivered that knock out blow in the third quarter, when a foul shot by Thomas and a jumper by Creecy ignited a 10-0 run to begin the period. East St. John led 44-16, and Giordano emptied the bench at the 5:13 mark.
Creecy scored 14 for East St. John, while Dent added eight.
For Destrehan, Carwina Richard led the way with nine points. Paige Rochelle scored eight.
East St. John now sits in fourth place in 6-5A (pending Friday night’s results), one game behind East Ascension, who visits the Wildcats on Tuesday.
“We’re right back in it, one game back of East Ascension,” said Giordano. “Now, they come to us to play. We’ve got a hellava game at home on Friday night against Hahnville. It’s time for us to circle the wagons.”