Ladycats garner first district victory, beat St. Amant

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 22, 2011



East St. John captured its first district victory of the season Tuesday as it downed host St. Amant, 47-34.

Bria Joseph scored 21 points and Kanitra Lee scored 10 to lead ESJ.

St. Amant’s Lauren Langlois led the Gators with 12 points.

The teams were tied 7-7 after a quarter of play but ESJ pulled ahead 20-14 at halftime. That lead held through the third quarter, and the Wildcats pushed the lead to double figures in the fourth quarter.

“We upped our defensive pressure (late),” said East St. John coach Jackson Manuel. “We forced them into a lot of turnovers, but we missed a lot of easy layups. This has been a trend in district … we lost to Hahnville and Dutchtown largely because we’re missing free throws and layups. It needs to stop now.”

The Wildcats struggled at the line again on Tuesday, making just 22 of its 47 foul shots.

“If we make even 60-percent of our foul shots, we win that game by 20,” said Manuel.

The win was a bounce back performance for ESJ (10-11, 1-2) after a tough loss to Hahnville, 44-38, last Friday.

Lee scored 11 and Joseph scored 10 in that game.

Shante Evans led Hahnville with 13.

Hahnville outscored ESJ 27-10 in the second and third quarters before holding off a late rally.

“We missed 16 uncontested layups. We make these shots, and we could be 3-0 right now,” said Manuel.

Manuel said he believes his team can make a big push, however, if it can get over that mental hurdle.

“I feel good about this club,” he said. “Honestly, we’re capable of running the table. But not missing 25 free throws. Now missing 16 layups. You can’t do it. But clean those things up, and we can make a big push in this thing.”