Lady Rams’ Gordon leads St. John standouts

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 10, 2011



It’s been a time of unprecedented success for the West St. John girls’ basketball team over the last two seasons. Standout point guard Jaylyn Gordon is a huge reason why.

Only a sophomore, Gordon has helped lead West St. John to its first two playoff victories (in 2010 and 2011), it’s first district title (in 2010) and the school record for wins in a season (21, 2011).

Her play this year makes her a clear choice to headline L’Observateur’s All-St. John Parish girls basketball team as its Most Valuable Player in 2011.

Gordon led the parish in points per game (18) and assists per game (7.2) and proved to be a threat to score from anywhere on the court. Boasting deep 3-point range and the ability to drive, finish or kick to an open teammate, there wasn’t much an opposing defense could do to completely negate her impact on a game — and nobody was able to in 2011.

“You only get one like her in a lifetime,” said West St. John coach Lester Smith. “She’s a scorer, but what makes her so special is her ability to distribute the ball, her unselfishness. She doesn’t force anything. She lets the game come to her.”

The Rams blew out district rival St. John-Plaquemine in the playoffs this season before bowing out to Ringgold in the regional round. Gordon scored 27 in the 60-27 win, one in which WSJ finished by scoring 46 of the final 54 points.

The 5-foot-5-inch guard is joined on the team by forward Jasmine Young, who was the team’s only senior starter. Young’s hustle, defense and leadership proved valuable as the Rams continued to win all season.

East St. John finished 15-13 this season and sees two representatives on the team in juniors Kanitra Lee and forward Kemyra Arvie. Lee was the Wildcats’ playmaker at point guard this season while Arvie provided interior punch. Both were strong defenders within the Wildcats’ press and helped ESJ compete in the extremely difficult District 6-5A.

Riverside is represented by freshman Jermani Thompson and seventh-grader Toni Hebert. Thompson played all over the court for coach Trenese Smith, providing scoring, defense and strong ballhandling for a team that improved over the course of the year. Hebert was a sharpshooting guard this season, averaging 15.3 points per game and stretching defenses with her 3-point range.

St. Charles’ Kacie Braud rounds out the All-Parish roster.

The junior led the Comets in scoring with 11.3 points per game. She averaged nearly a double-double, adding 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals a game. Braud was the Comets’ definitive go-to player this year, leading SCC to near upsets of Riverside and Haynes in the final two games of the year.