Wildcats off to strong start, top scorers dominate action

Published 11:45 pm Friday, November 28, 2014


RESERVE  —  With so many new faces debuting this season on the East St. John Wildcats roster, returning stars Tre’Von Jasmine and Troy Green will be leaned upon a little more often than usual in the season’s early stages.

That dynamic duo seems up to the task.

Jasmine and Green averaged 43 combined points per game at the Natchitoches Central tournament this week, leading the Wildcats to a 2-1 mark to begin their 2014-15 campaign.

ESJ defeated Caddo, 55-48, and H.L. Bourgeois, 72-51. It fell to Southwood, 73-66.

“You know, those guys are our returning scorers and we knew we’d need them to come up big this year,” ESJ coach Yussef Jasmine said. “But what I’m seeing from them, it looks like they can have these kinds of games with consistency. A lot of things are clicking with Tre and with Troy right now. Part of it’s the system, and part of it’s their individual efforts shining through. It’s great to see hard work paying off.”

In the Caddo game, ESJ led 31-24 at halftime and controlled the lead for most of the game. Jasmine finished with 24 points while Green added 14 to pace the Wildcats.

ESJ led by just one at halftime against H.L. Bourgeois but blew the game wide open in the second half, scoring 48 points after halftime. Both Green and Jasmine scored 25 in the game.

“Those were good wins,” Yussef Jasmine said. “Caddo’s a team with some really good players. H.L. Bourgeois played Natchitoches tough the night before, and that’s a team that played for the state championship last season. I thought, overall, we’d like to have gone 3-0 like you’d always hope for, but it was a successful tournament.”

The Wildcats’ lone loss came against Southwood. East St. John led 38-30 at halftime, but Southwood rallied to win by outscoring the Wildcats 33-16 in the fourth quarter.

“We were in a lot of foul trouble,” Yussef Jasmine said. “We actually finished the very end of the game with just four players. Five guys fouled out. We still had our chances against a good team.”

Green scored 24 and Jasmine 18 in the loss.

East St. John was originally set to play St. Augustine in ESJ’s season opener, but that game was cancelled.

ESJ is set to travel to McDonogh No. 35 Monday at 7 p.m. for its next game.