Rams clinch unbeaten 9-1A mark

Published 11:45 pm Monday, February 11, 2013



For the second time in as many years, West St. John has run the table in district play.

The Lady Rams were challenged by a game Ascension Catholic squad but emerged nonetheless with a 66-61 victory over the host Bulldogs to secure their second consecutive undefeated District 9-1A crown.

West St. John has won three straight district championships and has won four overall in the past five seasons.

Jaylyn Gordon scored 22, Maya Trench 20 and Jujuan Nicholas 12 in the Rams’ win Friday.

WSJ defeated Ascension Catholic 76-40 in Edgard on Jan. 22. But this time the Bulldogs didn’t go away so easily, and Ascension Catholic actually led at halftime 34-29 after outscoring the Rams 17-9 in the second quarter; after trailing at halftime just once in their first 26 games, the Rams have done so in each of their last two.

“I think they’re a better team than they were last time,” said West St. John coach Lester Smith.

“And on top of that, we probably underestimated them after we jumped out 8-2 to start the game. We got lax on defense, they scored a few baskets and they gathered some momentum. They shot it really well in the second quarter.”

The Rams turned things back around in the third quarter, besting ACHS 23-11 in the frame to take a 52-45 lead into the fourth.

“We weren’t getting back on defense,” said Smith. “They were pushing the ball early. We talked about it at halftime and we did a much better job from there of stopping their easy baskets in transition.”

Jordeynn Brown scored 15 and Rae’Shawn Melancon 14 to lead the Bulldogs.

After a long string of dominant performances, the No. 1 ranked Rams were pushed in three games in the second half of district play, something Smith hopes is a learning point for his team.

“Just because you’re number one, nobody is laying down for you. You’re gonna get their best shot night after night,” said Smith.

The Rams will learn their first round matchup Thursday. As it stood Monday, WSJ looked to be in line to earn the top seed in Class 1A.