Rams top St. James at tournament

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 6, 2010



PLAQUEMINE – West St. John fell twice at last week’s Plaquemine tournament, but nabbed a victory over rival St. James to move to 5-8 on the season.

The Rams fell to Plaquemine and district rival St. John-Plaquemine (in a non-district game) to round out its play at the tourney.

West St. John coach Antoine Edwards says that his team’s play shows it to still be firmly a work in progress, but that the competition it faced will only serve to make it stronger in district play.

“We still need work, but without a doubt there were a lot of great teams at Plaquemine,” said Edwards. “It can only help us before going to play in what’s now a much tougher district.”

A second quarter in which WSJ outscored St. James 11-6 was largely the difference in the win over the Wildcats. While the Rams would be plagued by slow starts in its two tourney losses, WSJ took a 25-19 lead and didn’t relinquish the advantage.

“We had a good start,” said Edwards. “We got a lot of guys involved offensively and a result we scored some points. But it was a see-saw battle. We forced some turnovers, which were key.”

Stephen Brignac led the Rams (5-8) with 12 points.

Owen Mumphrey led the Wildcats (1-7) with 14, while Darren Williams chipped in 11.

In a preview of a district matchup, West St. John fell just short of a victory over St. John-Plaquemine, which was able to hold onto a 40-38 lead.

The Eagles built a 13-point halftime lead thanks to a strong defensive performance – WSJ scored only 14 in the first half.

But the Rams would surpass that score in the fourth quarter alone, scoring 17 to hack into the lead before ultimately coming up a bucket short.

“We had to dig our way out of a hole,” said Edwards. “We made a nice run down the stretch, but ultimately it took us too long to start scoring and playing well defensively.”

Jalen Adams and Blake Carter each scored 11 to lead the Rams.

The tournament’s first game for WSJ saw a disastrous first half performance add up to a 50-27 loss to host Plaquemine.

The Green Devils outscored WSJ 24-2 in the first half and never looked back. The Rams saw their performance improve in the second half, particularly defensively after turning to a zone defense, but WSJ couldn’t get back into things.

“I thought we were a little intimidated by their size and presence. We turned it over several times when we couldn’t afford to.”

Brignac and Daylon Feist scored eight each to lead WSJ, meaning that four different players would lead the team in scoring.

“We don’t have one concrete go-to guy right now, its someone different stepping up,” said Edwards.