Jasmine’s 29 leads ESJ past RA

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 28, 2012



NEW ORLEANS — Since coach Timmy Byrd took over at Riverside Academy, the crosstown hoops rivalry between the perennial powerhouse Rebels and coach Yussef Jasmine’s East St. John Wildcats had been a one-sided affair.

But at the Holy Cross Christmas Classic tournament Thursday night, that changed in a big way.

Tre’Von Jasmine scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Wildcats to a 79-54 victory over the Rebels, netting ESJ it’s first win over Riverside since Byrd took over in 2010.

“I thought the difference tonight was that my kids handled the emotions of the rivalry well,” said Jasmine. “They were mentally prepared. I think in the past, our guys felt like they could win, whereas Riverside’s kids felt they were expected to.

“Tonight, I thought my guys carried the attitude that not only we can win, but we should win.”

The Wildcats (8-5) led 32-26 at halftime but made their biggest push in the third quarter, outscoring the Rebels 24-9 in the frame to take a 21-point lead into the fourth.

Raekwon McKnight added 12 points for ESJ. Kyle Patterson chipped in nine.

Herb McGee led Riverside (7-3) with 18 points. Malik Crowfield added nine.

Six Riverside players fouled out the game.

Is was a breakout game for Tre’Von Jasmine, the son of Yussef Jasmine, who had been steadily increasing his scoring output over the past few games.

“I’ve been telling him that he has the ability to score like this,” said Yussef Jasmine of the sophomore. “But sometimes it takes this kind of game to really believe it.”

The coach also praised the play of center Elex Carter, who was quiet in the scoring column but was heard loudly at the defensive ends and on the boards.

“He must have had 10 blocks tonight,” said Jasmine. “When he’s playing defense like that, even if he’s not scoring a lot he makes such a big, big impact on the result.”

Riverside struggled to shoot from the perimeter, making for a more effective East St. John zone look on defense.

“We knew that (Riverside point guard Von) Julien can penetrate, and he wants to get in and kick it outside for the 3,” said Jasmine.

“They took some long threes and wanted to play a fast game … that allowed us to get out and run ourselves. We feel like a fast-paced game is in our favor.”

The Wildcats advanced to face O. Perry Walker in the second round of the Classic tourney. That game was scheduled for Friday.