Ladycats fall to LaFlore

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 5, 2009

Sports Editor

East St. John entered the championship game of the Gulf Coast Holiday Classic intent on handing powerful LeFlore (AL) only their second loss in the past two seasons.

But after some promising early returns, the bigger Rattlers settled down and captured the tourney title with a 65-43 victory at Gulf Shores.

“We got tired, and once that happened, we were doomed,” said ESJ Coach Troy Giordano. “We couldn’t pressure the guards, and they just started lobbing it into their bigs. We could do nothing but foul.”

LeFlore (15-0) boasts a 6’5 center and a 6’1 forward, making it all but impossible for ESJ to match up on the inside. The Rattlers have topped 100 points on 10 occasions already this season. Previously, the Rattlers’ closest game had been a 20-point victory.

Jocelyn Shaw led the Rattlers with 18 points. Four LeFlore players scored in double figures.

Ciara Augillard led the Wildcats with 15 points. Mechel’le Thomas scored 14. Halle Lennix added six.

East St. John (16-7) led 20-8 at one point and 22-15 after a quarter.

“We put so much pressure on their guards, they weren’t able to get it inside,” said Giordano. “They aren’t used to playing in many close games, so I think it made them panic a little.”

Things evened out in the second quarter, as LeFlore rallied to take a 32-30 lead into the half.

But the Rattlers came out of the half blazing hot. A 12-0 run in the third quarter put ESJ behind and LeFlore limited the Ladycats to only 13 second half points.

“We had to try and score from the outside. You can’t go inside on them,” Giordano said.