ESJ’s Green, Winston lead the way past Country Day

Published 2:38 am Saturday, December 7, 2013


LAPLACE – Troy Green made East St. John’s first two baskets at Thursday night’s CYO Tournament second round game against Country Day, then earned his second foul less than three minutes into play.
He sat out the remainder of the half. He didn’t cool off.
Green scored 14 of his game-high 18 points after halftime to pace East St. John en route to a 64-48 victory over the Cajuns at Holy Cross, advancing the Wildcats to the CYO semifinals and improving to 6-0 overall.
“(Assistant) Coach Ronnie (Smith) told me to be aggressive from the start,” said Green. “I knew they couldn’t guard me inside or outside with anyone. We knew their big man was out tonight and that they wouldn’t be able to stop us inside, so we attacked and set the tone from the start.”
It was Country Day’s first loss of the season.
Country Day (2-1) led 38-32 early in the second half after a 3-pointer by Michael Corchiani, but then Green quickly went to work, scoring three times inside and once on a jumper for eight straight Wildcat points, pushing ESJ ahead 42-40.
East St. John’s defense began to suffocate the Cajuns offense and the lead began to grow. Kendell Jackson scored and made a free throw to make it 45-40. Two more Green Buckets made it 49-42, and Raekwon McKnight Eurostepped his way to a layup to give ESJ its biggest lead of the night to that point, 51-42. “
They wanted to shoot the 3,” said East St. John coach Yussef Jasmine. “We got out on their shooters and did a nice job of taking that away for the most part.”
The Wildcats began to ice the clock with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Cajuns forced a pair of turnovers and a Kent McGuire 3 cut the lead to 5.
But that was as close as ESJ allowed it to become, outscoring Country Day 13-4 the rest of the way, most of that coming at the foul line.
Edwin Winston scored 16 for East St. John. Tre’Von Jasmine scored 8 and Monterio Cage added 7.
Corchiani led Country Day with 16 points. McGuire scored 10 and J. C. Younger added 9.
ESJ led 28-27 at the half, withstanding Green’s absence for the entire second quarter as well as some further foul difficulties – the Cajuns were in the bonus for the entire second quarter, going 9-12 from the foul line in the period.
The Wildcats earned their sixth foul just before the start of the fourth quarter, but this time ESJ didn’t allow the Cajuns to take advantage and stayed out of the penalty until midway through the fourth.
“We like to play aggressively,” said Jasmine. “But sometimes, the way they officiate, they’re not gonna let you play as aggressively as you want to. You’ve got to make the adjustment to that, and we did a pretty good job of it in the second half.”
The Wildcats are off to an undefeated start this season on the back of a ferocious press and an extremely potent transition attack that was on display multiple times Thursday.
“I think we’re the most athletic team in the Metro area,” said Green
Said Jasmine, “We’ve got so many guys who can handle the ball and push it up. Troy, Tre, EJ (Winston) … so we can grab the rebound and get out on the break.’ “Our key is to be disciplined. When we keep it disciplined on defense and keep our turnovers down, we’ve got tough matchups for teams to deal with.”