Ladycats rally back to win over DHS

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 29, 2011



DESTREHAN – “When they play together, in sync,” said East St. John girls basketball coach Jackson Manuel of his guards Bria Joseph and Kanitra Lee, “we’re a very difficult bunch to deal with.”

Destrehan can attest.

The Ladycat duo scored 16 of their team’s 17 fourth quarter points, guiding East St. John to a 49-46 victory at Destrehan.

Joseph finished with 21 points, 10 coming in the fourth quarter. Lee and Kemyra Arvie each scored 10.

East St. John (12-11, 3-2) trailed by as many as 14 points in the game and by nine at halftime, but a big rally in the third quarter turned things around.

“Honestly, we got back into it with our defense,” said Joseph. “We came out and forced more misses. And the big thing also was our bench came in, gave our starters rest, and helped us more than ever tonight. It’s a really good win.”

Said Manuel: “We upped the tempo as we went on. From the beginning, we planned on upping the tempo as the game progressed and once we saw what we needed to see, we were able to attack some weaknesses. It took a little while for our offense to get in sync, but once Bria realized she could get inside, we started to click.”

Arvie got things started, scoring on consecutive putbacks in the third quarter to make it 27-22. Joseph nailed a 3 from the wing to draw her team within three at 28-25, then Lee drove and converted a basket to make it a one-point game. Brianne Brown gave East St. John its first lead of the night with a layup underneath on an assist from Lee.

Areion Banks fired back with a jumper for Destrehan to lift DHS back into the lead, but Brown again scored on a jumper to put ESJ back in front. The teams were tied at 32 entering the fourth.

That’s when the ESJ guards went to work. Joseph drove and drew a foul, making one-of-two free throws to give her team a 33-32 lead. Jordan Dabney drove and scored for Destrehan to put DHS (12-13, 2-3) up, but Joseph took the ball inside again at the other end, scored, and drew a foul to make good on a 3-point play.

“My 3’s weren’t falling, so coach told me to start driving in, and that opened up,” said Joseph.

She’d score on a pull up jumper to give ESJ a 38-34 lead. She and Lee traded baskets with DHS’ Ciara Augillard and Charde Jackson, but ESJ started to pull away. A Lee driving layup made it 45-39 and with less than a minute left, ESJ enjoyed its largest lead on another Lee score that made it 49-41.

“They present different problems to a defense. Bria can hit the 3, is light and fast. Kanitra is like a Quinn Buckner type point guard, someone that can bully you, someone who orchestrates a game.”

But Augillard converted a 3-point play to cut it to five. Then, with 14 seconds left, DHS got a steal and Dabney scored to make it a one-possession game, 49-46. Destrehan got another steal and had a chance, but their final shot attempt from the corner was no good and ESJ claimed victory.

Destrehan held leads of 12-4 and 27-13 in the first half that included a 12-2 DHS run in which four different players (Augillard, Banks, Luckii Wells and Jackson) scored.