Ladycats start district play with win

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2012



East St. John’s girls basketball team got off to a good start in District 8-5A play Tuesday, downing Higgins, 50-39, at Higgins.

Brishane Haynes led the Ladycats with 10 points. Kanitra Lee scored nine and Da’Rae Taylor scored eight.

The second quarter proved to decide things ultimately when the Wildcats outscored the Hurricanes 17-7 in the period, extending a halftime lead to 26-14.

East St. John (11-10, 1-0) had to do it without the presence of coach Jackson Manuel, who missed the game due to a medical emergency.

But Manuel said that the film showed him a Wildcats team that built a lead on the back of a strong defensive effort in the first half.

“I thought it came down to our pressure. We were able to get some decent looks at the other end off of their turnovers,” said Manuel. “Then we got to the foul line down the stretch and made it difficult for them to really climb back into it.”

Lee was instrumental to that end, hitting 7 of her 10 foul shots in the second half.

“She did a really good job for us at the line,” said Manuel. “And in being aggressive and getting there.”

The coach said that he was not surprised at the fast start for his players in a district road game, due to the schedule the Wildcats have already faced to date.

“We’re played some pretty capable teams on the road anyway,” he said. “So playing away from home shouldn’t be a big deal for us.”

East St. John was slated to go on the road again on Friday night to face Destrehan.

After a short break, ESJ will be back in action on Jan. 18 in its home district opener against fellow rival Hahnville.