Gordon, Trench lead Rams past Comets

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 10, 2012



It’s become a season of unprecedented expectations for West St. John as it heads into district play this week, and the Rams showed exactly why in their 67-39 victory over St. Charles Catholic on Friday night.

The Rams (13-4) got 23 points from Maya Trench and 22 points from Jaylyn Gordon, the latest power-packed effort from a guard duo that’s shown themselves to be among the state’s best.

“We play hard every night,” said Trench, just an eighth grader. We’re growing every game and working as a team. If we keep doing that we should be okay.”

For St. Charles (6-10), Kacie Braud led the way with 11 points. Emily Picciola scored 10.

West St. John (13-4) was sixth in the Class 1A power rankings as of Tuesday morning. A top six seed in the state playoffs would by far represent the highest finish ever for the Rams, who have all but matched their best start ever; WSJ had a strong record going into district play a year ago, but have set this mark against a much tougher schedule.

As for Friday, the Comets kept things close in the early going. Picciola, Alex Hitt and Courtney Snyder each scored baskets to fuel a 6-2 run near the end of the first quarter, keeping SCC within four at 14-10.

But a 12-2 run by the Rams quickly blew things open. Gordon’s second of two consecutive Ram threes made it 20-10. An inside bucket by Donasia Bell made it 26-12, after a basket by Hitt at the other end. JuJuan Nicholas made a layup on an assist from Trench to make it 34-15 near the end of the second quarter, and after a steal, Gordon found Bell the next time down for another basket. WSJ led 40-15 at halftime after Payton Young converted a layup as time expired in the second quarter.

“What’s rare about those girls (Gordon and Trench) is they’re good scorers who are very willing to share the ball, who look to pass,” said West St. John coach Lester Smith.

The two teams essentially traded baskets in the third quarter with Braud scoring 10 points to lead SCC in the period. West St. John wouldn’t let its lead dwindle, though, and the Rams secured their 13th victory of the season.

We’ve been working on getting the ball inside more,” said Smith. “We were able to score and push the ball off of our press for the most part.

West St. John was set to start district play Tuesday night at home against East Iberville, while SCC hosted Donaldsonville.

“We need our defense to stay at a high level,” said Smith. “If we can keep things going, we have a chance at a high seed, so we can’t relax.”