HHS upsets No. 1 Huntington

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 13, 2009


Sports Editor

Coaches love to play the “no respect” card with their players these days, to the point where its become tired and cliché.

But when Hahnville coach Brian Lumar said it Thursday night, he probably had a valid point.

Few gave the No. 12 seeded Tigers, the third place finisher in District 6-5A, a chance to upend No. 1 seed Huntington, which entered Thursday’s Class 5A semifinal game having lost only one of 40 games this season.

Hahnville didn’t care about any of it. The Tigers silenced all doubters with a 61-51 win at the Boys Basketball Top 28 tournament in Lafayette, leaving themselves now only one win shy of the first state championship in school history.

The Tigers (30-7) will play No. 2 seed Ouachita (37-4) in the Class 5A title game at 8:30 p.m. tonight.

“I hate to sound arrogant or cocky. But we’re very confident in how hard we work every single day,” said Lumar. “Everyone doubted us. All week, everyone asked me, ‘How can you beat Huntington? You’re so young. They’re 39-1.’ But we weren’t just happy to get here. We always believed we could win.”

Hahnville outscored Huntington 23-8 in the third quarter to swing the game in their favor.

6-7 Raiders center Kendrick Washington finished with 22 points, but had 16 of those in the first half – and only two in the third quarter, as Hahnville made its push.

He shot 8-of-10 from the field, while the other Raiders were a combined 9-of-33, including 1-of-7 from three point range.

“We knew if he caught it inside, we were doomed,” said Lumar. “He did that in the first half. In the second half, we decided to allow them to shoot from the outside. We weren’t going to let him beat us.”

Said Washington: “They went on a little run, and we didn’t pick up with them. I’m very disappointed. I did all I could do.”

After scoring only six first quarter points, the Tigers trailed the Raiders (39-2) 29-23 at halftime.

Huntington extended the lead to eight early in the third quarter, but Hahnville came roaring back. Desmond Raymond nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to two. At the 5:26 mark of the third period, he hit two free throws to tie the game at 31.

After the teams traded buckets, Derek Raymond hit a 3-pointer from the wing to give Hahnville its first lead since the 4:23 mark of the first quarter. 36-33. Desmond Raymond extended the lead to five with a jumper. His 3-pointer at the 1:31 mark of the quarter made it 43-36.

He finished with a team high 22 points, including a perfect 4-of-4 mark from 3-point range. The Tigers made 7-of-13 3-pointers.

“It came down to confidence,” Raymond said.

A Jauries Thomas’ three-point play made it a nine-point Tiger lead at the end of the third.

“They did an excellent job spreading the floor and taking advantage of their quickness,” said Huntington coach Mack Jones.

Huntington increased its defensive pressure in the fourth quarter, but it didn’t phase Hahnville.

“It’s 32 minutes of pain in our district. We have to handle that pressure every night,” said Lumar.

From there, Huntington could get no closer than five.

Jared Kinsey scored 13 points, Derek Raymond scored 11, and Thomas finished with nine points and 11 rebounds for Hahnville in a balanced effort for Hahnville.

“We’re a team with no superstars,” said Lumar. “We’re not on anyone’s radar, but we won’t let anyone outwork us.

“We’re successful because every night, a different guy steps up. I always tell them, the night we get all five (starters) on the same page, it’ll be a really scary sight.”

If that happens tonight, Tigers fans will be very, very happy.