Thomas’ 25 paces Ladycats over Trojans

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Sports Editor

A fast start powered East St. John to its twelfth victory of the season on Monday night as it defeated Central Lafourche 66-42 in a non-district game at East St. John.

Mechel’le Thomas scored 25 points to lead the Wildcats. Korielle Tucker scored 17. Halle Lennix chipped in six.

Central Lafourche’s Erica Robinson scored 22 to lead the Trojans.

“It was a mixed bag,” said East St. John Coach Troy Giordano. “We played well in spurts. And then we had lapses mentally, and stretches where we’d go two or three minutes without scoring a point.

“We didn’t shoot as well as I’d like, but they came out and played with intensity.”

East St. John (12-2) forced Trojan turnovers on their first four possessions, but came away with no points from those.

That changed in a hurry once Ciara Augillard scored the first bucket of the game. It opened the floodgates — Tucker would score, and Augillard scored and made a foul shot to put ESJ ahead 7-2. Central Lafourche’s Chelsea Curole made a jumper, but it would be the Trojans last bucket for awhile. ESJ went on a 13-0 run launched by a Lennix 3-pointer. Tucker scored six points in the run.

The Trojans (2-7) fought back, going on an 8-2 run that brought them within nine, 21-12. Then Thomas took over. A 3-pointer off an inbounds pass made it 24-12. Her layup made it 28-15. A Thomas runner and a 3-pointer to end the half gave the Wildcats a 33-17 lead at halftime.

But Central Lafourche scored the first six points on the second half behind buckets by Robinson and Kiera Smith, making it 33-23.

“They kept pounding it inside on us, and they had some success. After the first quarter, there was a long stretch where they played us even,” said Giordano.

But the Wildcats’ explosiveness proved to be too much, and baskets by Tucker, Thomas, Brianne Brown and Lennix pushed the lead to 45-23 after a 12-0 run.

“We were kinda laid back with the cushion we had,” said Thomas. “All of a sudden, they were closing in. So we had to leave it all out and pick it up.”

East St. John hit five 3-pointers.

The relatively dominant win came in contrast to the team’s overtime victory on Friday, as it defeated Mandeville 70-66 to close out the Hammond 5A roundup.

District 6-5A won the competition over District 7-5A, 6-3. ESJ won all three of its games.

Thomas finished with 26 points. Creecy added 22. Tucker scored 10.

ESJ opened overtime with three straight steals to build a six point lead.

From there, Creecy and Thomas combined to make 6-of-7 foul shots. Creecy hit two of those shots with 30 seconds left to put ESJ ahead by four, and after a stop the Ladycats had the win.

Mandeville had a chance to win at the end of regulation. Trailing by one, the Skippers had two foul shots with three seconds left, but made only one of two to force overtime.