Rams clinch share of district title

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Sports Editor

Ascension Catholic’s game-tying 3-pointer fell short in the closing seconds on Friday night, making West St. John’s district championship official.

The Rams clinched a share of the District 9-1A title with a 61-58 win at Ascension Catholic that came down to the wire. WSJ (13-12, 7-1) splits the district crown with White Castle, which also finished 7-1 in district play after splitting with the Rams during the regular season.

“Our goal is always to win our district and return to the playoffs,” said WSJ coach Antoine Edwards. “We took this game very seriously, and fortunately we were able to come away with a big win.”

The Rams will play their first playoff game by Friday night. Their opponent was not known at press time.

Alton Joseph and Terrance Nathan each scored 18 to lead WSJ. Kaliff Gastreal scored 12. Dray Joseph added 11.

Along with the win and the title, the team brought a bit of vindication back to Edgard with them. After starting the season 3-1, the team lost eight of their next nine games with a roster weakened by a number of factors. It would enter district play with a 6-11 record.

“We had some disciplinary problems early. I had to suspend some guys, and some others didn’t make the grades,” Edwards said. “To get back to this point after that, without a doubt, it’s a great accomplishment for us.”

Ascension Catholic (10-24, 2-6) did its best to play spoiler. West St. John had to survive 32 points from the Bulldogs’ Matt Pearce, and the Rams trailed by two at halftime.

The third quarter proved to be the turning point. West St. John outscored Ascension Catholic 23-17 in that quarter, and maintained a lead in the fourth.

“We maneuvered the ball around a little better in the third quarter. We played better defensively, and that added up to some easy baskets,” said Edwards.

Ascension Catholic forced some turnovers too, though, and rallied to set up a potential game-tying shot.

“Thankfully,” Edwards said, “we were able to escape.”

WEST ST. JOHN 63, NORTH IBERVILLE 50 – Last Tuesday, the Rams set up their district championship win by defeating North Iberville in Edgard, 63-50.

Alton Joseph led all scorers with 21 points. Nathan added 18 for WSJ (12-12, 6-1).

Korbin Scott led North Iberville (8-20, 3-5) with 14. Traveon Hawkins added 13.