West St. John moves into first place tie

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 16, 2009


Sports Editor

The beginning of the 2008-09 season for West St. John may have been a struggle, but the Rams have come charging back to bring the District 9-1A title within reach.

That much became clear to first place White Castle on Tuesday as WSJ tagged the Bulldogs with their first district loss of the season, winning 51-50 in Edgard. In the process, the Rams (11-13, 5-1) moved into a tie for first place.

“We knew if we could win, we’d put ourselves in that position,” said West St. John coach Antoine Edwards. “So we were ready to play.”

White Castle’s Generra Varmall led all scorers with 20 points, but missed two free throws with less than 10 seconds left to allow West St. John to preserve one of its most important wins of the season.

“Frankly, sometimes you need a little luck to win these games,” said West St. John coach Antoine Edwards, who saw his team garner a similar two-point district win over North Iberville last month. “They had a chance, and it just fell through. This was an emotional win for us.”

Alton Joseph led West St. John with 19 points. Kaliff Gastreal scored 12, and Terrance Nathan added 10.

The Rams led after every quarter. But as the final score would indicate, the Bulldogs (16-14, 5-1) stayed within arms length of the Rams and never fell too far behind.

WSJ led 30-24 at halftime, but saw its lead cut to 41-38 after three quarters.

Edwards credited his team’s ball movement and shot selection as major reasons his team got out to a first half lead, but said that things got a little sloppy in the second half.

“We got off to a fast start,” said Edwards. “But we started doing some bad things. We started turning it over. But they did too.”

In the end, though, West St. John earned a split with White Castle this season, after losing a lopsided 66-47 decision on the road in the team’s district opener.

Things have changed since then, says Edwards.

“We’ve improved a lot,” said Edwards. “The holiday season is over, and we’ve got all of our guys back. There are still some things I’d like to see get improved, but we’re put ourselves in a good position to win district.”