Ladycats off to strong start

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 3, 2011



East St. John is off to a strong 3-0 start this season, with senior guard Bria Joseph leading the charge.

Joseph has averaged 25 points per game in wins over St. Martin’s, Live Oak, and most recently Istrouma, as her 29 point effort led the Ladycats’ effort in a 62-33 win on the road Wednesday.

The Wildcats led 19-4 after a quarter and never looked back, increasing its advantage in each frame.

Kemyra Arvie scored 10 points and Kanitra Lee added nine.

Joseph also led the way last week as the Ladycats won its first two games, topping St. Martin’s and Live Oak in the Hammond Shootout.

Joseph scored 25 in a 55-30 win over St. Martin’s, then followed that up with 21 in a 66-11 win over Live Oak.

Against Live Oak, DaRay Taylor scored 15 points. Lee added 12.

“Defensively, I thought we did a very good job in both games,” said East St. John coach Jackson Manuel. “In the St. Martin’s game, I thought we needed to do a better job blocking out. They got most of their points on putbacks and things that could have been prevented. But in terms of our pressure, we were pretty good throughout both games.”

Manuel was pleased to see Joseph continue her strong play from a season ago. But the senior guard’s challenge now, he said after the first two contests, is maintaining consistency — something her 29-point effort on Wednesday suggests is now happening.

“It’s what we’ve been harping on her for awhile,” he said. “Last season, she might score 25 one night, then five the next. After the preseason we really stressed that to her. We know she can score, but now it’s a matter of bringing that every night.

“If we get strong play from her and from Kanitra each night, we’ll be very tough to beat.”

Taylor, Manuel said, has been doing a good job running the point along with Lee.

“You take that kind of production any time you can get it from a freshman,” said Manuel.

Another strong young player has been Keyvin Parker, who Manuel called “monstrous” on the boards.

“She’s averaging between 10 and 12 rebounds a game right now,” said Manuel. “She’s really getting after them, especially on the defensive glass. If we can get Keyvin and Kemyra (Arvie) going at the same time, we’ll be real tough on the boards.”