Williams pushes ESJ past DHS

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 17, 2012



While East St. John certainly has a number of clutch playmakers on its deep and talented roster, Joseph Williams definitely continues to carve out more than his fair share of memorable moments.

It was Williams again making an impact on Friday night at Destrehan, scoring his team’s first 11 points of the second quarter and helping ESJ open up a lead in what would finish as their 54-45 District 8-5A victory.

“We knew we had to have a quick tempo and we did a nice job of facilitating that,” said ESJ coach Yussef Jasmine. “Joe scored those points in transition, with us pushing the pace.”

His 11-point surge keyed a 13-4 run for ESJ (14-4, 2-0), which led by as many as 14 in the fourth quarter.

He finished with 17. Chester Victor Jr. added 11.

Returning All-State forward B.J. Singleton also picked up his third foul while Williams went on his tear, hampering the DHS attack and furthering the momentum shift.

Jasmine said that he had to call a timeout even as Williams was hot, as he was playing with so much energy that he was in danger of burning himself out.

“He did it so quickly that he kind of ran out of gas,” said Jasmine. “I had to bring him over and refill him … But you can see what he can do out there. He’s a student of the game who has a great work ethic. He’s improved himself tremendously and he’s been so key for our team.”

Destrehan (16-7, 1-1) made a run at ESJ in the fourth quarter, but could draw no closer than six.

Jasmine said that he elected to shift gears and rein the high-octane attack in as his team protected its lead.

“We had control at that point and it was time to execute and finish,” he said. ”Slow it down and make sure you get a layup.”

Destrehan’s Gary Johnson scored a game-high 23 points.

EAST ST. JOHN 59, HIGGINS 56 — After a 10-0 district mark in 2010, the Wildcats were perilously close to seeing their district winning streak snapped at Higgins last Tuesday, tied with the Hurricanes with time winding down in regulation.

But ESJ’s Chester Victor Jr. kept the Wildcats’ run going, firing and hitting on a 3-pointer with three seconds left to put ESJ ahead 59-56, the eventual final score.

Joseph Williams and Victor each scored 12 points to lead ESJ, which led 34-30 at halftime.

Cedric Jackson led Higgins (13-5, 0-1) with a game-high 19.