DHS spoils Ladycats’ playoff hopes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011



RESERVE – A late scoring drought doomed East St. John’s playoff chances Friday night as the Ladycats fell to rival Destrehan, 44-40.

ESJ scored just nine points in the final 11 minutes of play.

“We didn’t get it inside enough,” said East St. John coach Jackson Manuel. “Our defensive play wasn’t too bad. But the last few minutes of this game were a microcosm of what’s been going on all season, with our mistakes coming back to bite us.

“We had our chances, but we didn’t do what we had to do.”

Destrehan’s Jordan Dabney hit back to back shots, including a 3-pointer that gave Destrehan its first lead of the fourth quarter, 38-36.

DHS (14-16, 4-6) led by three after Areion Banks hit one of two free throws. East St. John cut the lead back to one after Kemyra Arvie converted two free throws after DHS fouled on Banks’ miss.

But in the final minute, Dabney hit four free throws in a row, the last two coming after she was fouled on a layup attempt after she made a steal.

“Turnovers, missed free throws … it just comes back to mental mistakes. This is a young bunch that needs to mature,” said Manuel.

Brianne Brown pulled ESJ (15-13, 5-5) back within three with a putback with 10.6 seconds left, then East St. John gave itself a chance to tie by knocking the ball out of bounds off of Destrehan with 9.6 seconds left.

But Bria Joseph’s 3-point attempt came up empty and Destrehan gathered in the rebound to preserve the win.

Dabney scored 24 points, 11 coming in the fourth quarter.

Arvie led East St. John with 14 points. Brown scored 12.

Destrehan held East St. John’s starting guards, Bria Joseph and Kanitra Lee, to a combined two points. Lee missed much of the second half, including the entire fourth quarter, because of a hip injury.

“This year’s been a learning experience for a lot of the kids,” said Manuel. “For a number of them, this was their first rodeo. It’s tough now, but we’ll build on this.

“We’ve got a lot of promising kids on this team and others coming in to help us.”