Wildcats roll past Terrebonne with ease

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, February 18, 2014


 LAPLACE — Though East St. John clinched the District 7-5A championship last week via a win over Thibodaux, the Wildcats weren’t about to have a let down game against Terrebonne at home Monday.

“We’ve still got to finish district strong,” said ESJ’s Tre’Von Jasmine. “We’re working to win a state championship. We’ll accept nothing less.”

The Wildcats shook off a relatively slow start to earn a dominating 93-61 victory, led by 25 Edwin Winston points and 20 by Jasmine. 

Raekwon McKnight and Troy Green each added 12 for the Wildcats (22-5, 12-1)

Da’Vaughn Guano scored 24 to lead Terrebonne (5-24, 0-13). 

Terrebonne jumped out to a 7-2 lead and trailed just 19-17 at the end of the first quarter, but East St. John, but a quick 14-2 run to begin the second quarter put ESJ in firm control. Green, Jasmine, Winston and McKnight scored the points to fuel it.

“We saw how hard (Terrebonne) was playing to start the night. We realized we had to match them and play at a faster pace,” said Tre’Von Jasmine. “We still want to show everyone in our district that we belong at the top.”

Terrebonne stuck close thanks to the play of Guano and Raekwon Fluker, the former’s 3-pointer making it 33-26 — that seven-point margin represented the closest it would be the rest of the way. A Winston floater and then 3-pointer followed by a Anthony Steer bucket helped ESJ make it 42-31 at half. 

The Wildcats broke things wide open in the third quarter thanks to a slew of transition and second-chance points. Winston scored two layups and Jasmine one to begin the third, then Kyle Patterson scored off a McKnight steal to make it 52-36. 

ESJ kept pushing the ball. Winston and Green scored on back to back layups, then Winston made a follow-up put back. Jasmine scored on a 3-point play to finish another fast break, then Winston capped a break with a two to make it a 20-point margin. 

“We emphasize making quick outlet passes (off both misses and makes),” said ESJ coach Yussef Jasmine. “We’ve got so many guys who can really score the ball, and that’s a way we know we can get some easy baskets.”

Jasmine began nailing his jumper, banking in a short one, then hitting a corner 3 before scoring again to make it 74-49. ESJ held a 76-50 lead.

“They’re a top 5 team in Class 5A,” said Terrebonne coach Derek Szush. “I’m proud of the way my guys fought. We were missing two starters and in foul trouble early, and we kept fighting even down 20.’

“We’ve played pretty much everyone (in district) close, except for these guys. (East St. John) is a team primed to make a run at it.”

Yussef Jasmine said that one player who has emerged of late has been McKnight, who has been a steady force at point guard.

“He’s been playing more aggressively on the defensive end and more controlled on the offensive end” said Yussef Jasmine.  

Tre’Von Jasmine said that as the playoffs quickly approach — Thursday night at Destrehan represents ESJ’s final regular season game — simply matching the team’s quarterfinal run from a year ago isn’t acceptable to anyone in the ‘Cats locker room.

“We feel like each time we get there, we take it to another level,” he said. “We got to the quarterfinals last year, but we’re not talking about getting to the semifinals now. We want that championship.”

Like father, like son.

“We’ve played teams like St. Augustine, like Riverside, who have been there and won,” said Yussef Jasmine, Tre’Von’s father. “That’s a part of a team’s history that East St. John hasn’t reached yet. We’ve won district before. We’re ready to go to another level.”