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East St. John takes 2 wins, 1 in overtime

By RYAN ARENA
L’Observateur

RESERVE — East St. John returned to district play last week with impact, nailing down a overtime victory at home Jan. 5 over South Lafourche, 50-48, and overwhelming Central Lafourche on the road Friday night, 56-18.

Da’Rae Taylor and Kennisha Brooks each scored four of East St. John’s 10 overtime points against South Lafourche, a game that neither team led by more than three at the conclusion of any quarter.

Taylor had 19 points to lead all scorers. Brooks added 16.

Traya Bruce scored 13 to lead South Lafourche.

“Da’Rae and Kennisha were both huge in that overtime,” East St. John coach Jackson Manuel said. “Defensively, we upped the pressure. That’s usually the key for us. We forced some turnovers and when that happens, it creates chances at the other end.”

Against Central Lafourche, Brooks scored a game-high 10 points. Taylor Lipps, Brianna Thompson and Meah Monroe each scored eight.

Manuel said the two victories were big for his team, as the Wildcats (10-5, 3-1) had been off for two weeks following a 94-53 district opening loss to Destrehan.

“We needed to get back into a good groove and I think we did that,” Manuel said. “That Destrehan loss left a bitter taste with us. For us to get a few nice wins, it puts us back headed in a positive direction.”

The Wildcats have another rivalry game upcoming. Friday night, ESJ hosts Hahnville (6-12, 1-2), and veteran coach Manuel says he knows what to expect.

“It’s Hahnville,” he said. “Throw out the records. They’ll do everything they can, and so will we. When you talk about these two teams, the rivalry is real. We’ll be up for that one, no doubt. I expect us to play a good ball game.”