Ladycats back to winning ways
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 2, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
After splitting four games at last week’s Powerade Hoopfest tournament in Lafayette — in the process taking its first two losses of the 2008 season — East St. John got back on the winning track this past weekend.
The Wildcats defeated Jackson on Friday, 55-40, then topped Istrouma 53-35 on Monday. Both wins came on the road.
Mechel’le Thomas scored 21 to lead the Ladycats (8-2) on Monday. Wanisha Creecy scored nine.
“The difference was really defense,” said ESJ Coach Troy Giordano. “We held them to 35 points and jumped out to an early lead.”
After competing in two tournaments and nine games overall since beginning the season Nov. 15, the Wildcats looked to be wearing down a bit in Giordano’s eyes.
But after a weekend off, he said he saw more of a spark from his team.
“There was more energy. After two days off, I think we got our legs under us,” he said.
East St. John led Istrouma (3-4) 18-6 after a quarter, and never let up. At the end of three, the Wildcats led by 16, 40-24.
ESJ hit six 3-pointers in the game.
On Friday, the Wildcats notched a win on the back of a fine third-quarter push. After taking a 27-17 lead into the locker room at halftime, ESJ outscored the Chiefs 19-7 in the third to go up by 22, allowing Giordano to unload his bench in the fourth quarter.
“At half, we knew we weren’t playing well,” he said. “So we wanted to come out and make a big push in the third to separate ourselves. We just did what we had to do.”
Creecy scored 12 to lead the team. Thomas scored 11. Halle Lennix scored eight, as did Korielle Tucker.
The first half saw his team suffer what he felt was a bit of a turkey-day hangover.
“It looked like a game between two teams playing the day after Thanksgiving,” he said. “It was sloppy both ways.”
But while the Wildcats begin their third tournament of the year today at Hammond, the schedule should lighten up for ESJ in the weeks thereafter.
That should give the ESJ players a chance to catch their breath.
“We’ll be back in a routine of two games a week, for the most part,” said Giordano. “So that could help matters.”