Easton hands Lady Rams 1st loss

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 21, 2012


NEW ORLEANS — West St. John’s undefeated streak was finally broken Tuesday night — and it took another unbeaten team to do it.

The Lady Rams fell to Warren Easton at the St. Mary’s Demetria Williams basketball tournament, 74-56, to drop West St. John to 13-1.

The Eagles (11-0) were led by Lawriell Wilson, who scored 20 points. Alisha Celestine scored 16 and Jermica Edwards added 12.

For the Rams, Jaylyn Gordon and Maya Trench each scored 20.

West St. John hung tough early on with a foe both larger in classification and on the court, the Rams trailing 20-16 after a quarter and then 37-26 at the half.

But the Class 4A Eagles began asserting themselves in the third quarter, utilizing their size advantage in the paint to outscore WSJ 23-14 in the third and all but put things away.

“They just pounded us inside,” said West St. John coach Lester Smith. “We couldn’t match up with them in man … we tried to play zone to help out our interior players, but it didn’t really work out.”

Edwards and Gordon will be teammates at the next level, as both have signed with Louisiana-Lafayette.

Smith said that playing teams like Easton was something he wanted to do when he made his schedule before the season, in order to fully prepare his team to make what could be a special playoff run.

The Rams, thus far, have played just one of their 14 games against a team lower than Class 3A, and have played eight Class 4A or 5A teams already this season.

“I thought we played well in spots (Tuesday),” said Smith. “Easton is just a good team. We didn’t shoot well, but that’s no excuse. They did a good job.

“I do think it lets our players know that they can play with a team like that. We didn’t turn it over that many times, and we did some good things defensively, even with the big score. It’ll make us better.”

The teams were familiar with one another after facing off in summer league play.

“There were no surprises,” said Smith.


West St. John bounced back Wednesday night to defeat host St. Mary’s (2-7) on the final day of the tournament, 53-50.

Gordon scored 15 for West St. John. Trench scored 12 and Jujuan Nicholas scored eight and Harley Morris added 7.

It was the second victory of the season over St. Mary’s for West St. John, which won the first matchup between the teams 74-48.

Smith said that he felt his team came out a bit sluggish, perhaps in part due to a little overconfidence based on the previous result between the teams.

“I just don’t think we were ready to play,” said Smith. “We did a lot of things to make it difficult on ourselves.”

Smith said that as a whole, the tournament was a good experience for his Rams, despite the first loss of the season.

West St. John is now 14-1, with only one of its 15 games played at home.

The Rams are scheduled to return to action after the Christmas break with a Dec. 28 visit to Lutcher.