Huge fourth quarter guides ESJ past McKinley at Glen Oaks tourney

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 5, 2009



East St. John reached the finals of the Glen Oaks tournament with a convincing win over McKinley on Thursday night, 82-62.

Kaylon Placide scored 29 points to lead the way for the Wildcats. Patrick Gales scored 14, and D’haquille Williams and LeBaron Sylvester each scored nine.

McKinley kept things close most of the way, but the fourth quarter completely belonged to the Wildcats. The teams entered the final period tied at 55 before East St. John outscored McKinley 27-7 in the final period to secure the win.

East St. John coach Yussef Jasmine said that a big shift occurred when his team shifted its defense from man to man to zone.

“That was a key moment. We started forcing them to take a lot of jump shots,” said Jasmine. “The zone has been pretty good to us. It stabilized the game.”

Yet another key was ESJ’s depth. 14 Wildcats played, and it allowed East St. John (5-2) to close out the game with fresh legs.

“That was crucial,” Jasmine said.

But offensively, Placide shined brightest on Thursday, going for his season-high.

“He might have missed one shot all night. It at least seemed like it,” said Jasmine. “McKinley wasn’t really familiar with us at all. And Kaylon goes out there as this cool, calm kid…I’m not sure they really adjusted to him until he had his 29. You almost didn’t realize he had that many until it was over and done.”

COUNTRY DAY 61, EAST ST. JOHN 59 – The Wildcats fell just short at home on Tuesday against the defending Class 1A champions.

Placide’s shot with ESJ down two and with time winding down came up short, and the Cajuns (5-0) held on to remain undefeated.

LSU commitment Matt Derenbecker led Country Day with 22 points.

Kalen Henderson led ESJ with 12. Kody Duhe and Placide each chipped in 10.

The score was tied at 40 after three quarters.

“They executed on their final possessions a little better than we did,” said Jasmine. “When you play against a championship club like that, it makes a big difference.”

Country Day shot 44 foul shots to 14 for ESJ.

“We want to go out and play aggressive defense, but now we need to learn how to play hard without fouling so much,” said Jasmine.