Frenzied pace keys 3-0 start for Ladycats
Published 12:00 am Monday, November 24, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
Those who follow the East St. John Ladycats this season might as well get used to the phrase ‘Run ‘N’ Gun’.
Behind 35 3-point attempts a night, a blistering pace and standout point guard Mechel’le Thomas, East St. John has moved to 3-0 this season, notching wins over St. Joseph’s, Karr, and Hammond to begin the year.
His team lacking height and experience, ESJ Coach Troy Giordano has his team turning up the pressure on opponents, attempting to make opponents match their own breakneck pace.
“That’s going to be the recipe this year,” said Giordano. “We need to create offense from our defense, since we lack height. This is how we compete.”
That formula has worked wonders in the first three games. ESJ has not only won all three, but the Ladycats have not yet trailed at any point, in any game.
On Wednesday, East St. John defeated Hammond at the Mandeville tournament, 54-34.
Thomas scored 17 points to lead the Wildcats. Wanisha Creecy scored 11. Bria Joseph added eight.
East St. John led 13-9 after a quarter, then pushed ahead 34-31 after a 21 point second quarter. Hammond never made a serious push.
On Tuesday, the Wildcats again led from start to finish, downing Karr 58-51 at the Mandeville tourney.
Halle Lennix hit six 3-pointers and scored 20 points to lead ESJ. Thomas had 17 points and dished out 10 assists. Creecy added nine.
“Every time they made a run, we hit a big three,” said Giordano.
ESJ led 37-21 at the half. Karr made its biggest push in the fourth, getting within five and outscoring the Wildcats 10-3 in the quarter, but couldn’t finish the rally.
Thomas scored a personal season high 26 to lead the Wildcats over St. Joseph at ESJ on Monday.
Lennix scored 12 and Ciara Augillard scored nine.
The Wildcats led 45-30 entering the fourth quarter, but a game St. Joseph’s bunch made a run, cutting the lead to three.
At that point, Thomas took over, scoring back to back baskets on a drive and a pull up jumper to push the lead to seven and end the threat.
“She’s our senior leader, and that’s what she’s supposed to do,” Giordano said. “That night, she scores 26. Against Karr, she has 17 and 10. She’s doing whatever it takes to win, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”