Gordon leads All-Parish girls hoops team in 2012

Published 11:45 pm Friday, March 30, 2012



An unforgettable season for West St. John is in the books.

The Lady Rams made a trip to the Top 28 tournament for the first time in school history, finishing their season in the state semifinals. They did not lose a district game, another first for the program. And the Rams finished with 26 wins, which was — you guessed it — a school record.

Those accomplishments, among others, helped shape this season’s L’Observateur All-St. John Parish Team, which finds its MVP and its Coach of the Year on the WSJ roster.

West St. John’s Jaylyn Gordon topped 20 points per game to lead all scorers in the parish and earns honors as 2011-12’s Most Valuable Player.

Meanwhile, her coach, Lester Smith, is our selection as this season’s Coach of the Year for guiding the Rams to their best season ever.

Before its semifinal loss to Tensas, the Rams were one of the state’s hottest teams down the stretch, winning 19 straight games leading into the top 28 tournament.

The 19th win was arguably Gordon’s finest of the season — and perhaps of the junior’s career — as she controlled every aspect of WSJ’s 69-62 quarterfinal win at top-seeded Central Catholic. Gordon scored 33 points, hit six 3-pointers, scored in the lane and set up teammates at will.

Joining her on the All-Parish team is her cousin and teammate, Maya Trench. Trench scored over 600 points this year as just an eighth-grader, and both talented guards will return next season.

East St. John is represented by two standouts, Kanitra Lee and Brishane Haynes. Each averaged in double figures over a tough District 7-5A slate and earned reputations as plus defenders.

Riverside’s Channan Simmons and Toni Hebert each make the team after each averaged over 13 points per game. Simmons season as the Rebels’ point guard, leading a perimeter-oriented attack, while Hebert was one of the area’s most effective long-range shooters.

St. Charles’ Jaelen Bryant was one of the parish’s top rebounders and represents the Comets on the team. SCC coach Paul Waguespack said Bryant evolved into his most valuable defensive player this season.�