Ladycats dominate on way to 4-0

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2012



NEW ORLEANS — East St. John played just about a perfect second half defensively Monday night at L.B. Landry; in doing so, the Ladycats continued their perfect start to the 2012 season.

ESJ held Landry to just four second half points in a dominating 60-19 win, moving the Wildcats to 4-0 this season.

“After everything that’s happened with our school and the hurricane, we’re just trying to get back and make something good happen,” said point guard Da’Rae Taylor, who scored 14 points and had five steals. “We played together tonight and tightened up our defense.”

That defensive attack was an unrelenting press that wore down and eventually broke down the Landry attack. Kariontae Victor had eight steals to lead the defensive front.

“We forced a lot of turnovers. When we do that, we’re at our best,” said East St. John coach Jackson Manuel.

Jermani Thompson scored 15 to lead the Wildcats offensively. Nya Duhe and Kennisha Brooks each scored 10.

Rehema Franklin scored 14 to lead Landry.

ESJ led 12-3 after the first quarter. Landry gained some traction offensively in the second behind Franklin who scored all of the team’s points in the period; she hit a long two-point jumper, a 3, a runner and a 3-point play off of a bucket and foul to pull Landry within six at 19-13; she scored 12 total in the quarter. But a late scoring surge by Taylor — she scored the final six points of the half for ESJ — gave the Wildcats a 28-15 halftime lead.

The Wildcats really put things away in the final three minutes of the third quarter, starting with a Duhe pull-up jumper in the lane that made it 36-17. Crystal Kemp pulled down an offensive rebound and made a putback to make it 38-17. Victor made a free throw, then Thompson scored on a wide open layup on a nice pass from Taylor. Victor scored a layup to cap the third quarter, pushing ESJ ahead 43-17.

But the run didn’t end there; that 9-0 run was extended to 24-0; the Wildcats held Landry (1-2) scoreless from 3:02 left in the third to the 1:47 mark of the fourth quarter.

“At halftime, we made some adjustments and plugged up some holes in our defense,” said Manuel. “(Franklin) was getting open because we were blowing assignments.”

The Ladycats’ 4-0 start has come with contributions across the board. Four Wildcats scored in double figures Monday, reflecting a roster that boasts a number of versatile offensive players that can get into the lane and shoot from the outside.  

“We’ve had a little more balance across the board,” said Manuel. “That’s the key for us.”