West St. John falls in opening round at Plaquemine tournament
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 31, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
West St. John is still trying to find some consistency, and struggled to find it this past weekend as it brought a shorthanded team into the Plaquemine tournament.
Starters Alton Joseph and Donald Brown were among a number of Ram players unable to attend the team’s opening round game with Albany, and a strong fourth quarter push netted the Hornets a 68-53 victory.
“We didn’t have the depth or the height we’d usually have. It hurt us a little bit on both ends,” said West St. John Coach Antoine Edwards.
Dray Joseph led the Rams (5-6) with 20 points. Kaliff Gastreal added 12.
Albany led 19-9 after the first quarter, and 28-19 at the half. The Rams stayed within striking distance, however, and only trailed 44-38 entering the fourth quarter.
But at that point, the dam broke. The Hornets outscored West St. John 24-15 in the final quarter to slam the door on a Ram comeback.
“We went with a smaller team, and that kind of helped us match their quickness with our own,” said Edwards, whose tallest player is generally Joseph, his center. “We could attack the basket, put them in two-on-one situations and get some easy buckets.”
But in the end, WSJ didn’t have enough. Forwards Daylon Feist and Gastreal each got into early foul trouble, further depleting the WSJ frontcourt.
“We just didn’t have much height at all,” Edwards said. “We adapted as much as we could.”
The Plaquemine tournament was scheduled to run through Tuesday. WSJ’s next scheduled game was to be against St. James on Monday. Details will be in our next edition.