Bartholomew, Taylor lead Rams to victory

Published 11:45 pm Friday, February 13, 2015


EDGARD — The West St. John Rams are clicking on all cylinders.

After starting the season with an 0-8 record, WSJ turned its season around in a hurry, winning nine of its final 11 games, including its regular season finale Tuesday night: the Rams decisively toppled visiting St. John-Plaquemine, 78-45, to officially cement themselves as runner-up in District 8-1A.

Morell Bartholomew led WSJ with a game-high 21 points. Da’Jon Taylor scored 17 and Amire Oubre scored 14.

Hayden Hemenway scored 20 to lead St. John (8-16, 1-9).

“At the end of the day, we had no chemistry early on, and we weren’t in basketball shape,” West St. John coach LaVanta Davis said. “Once we got some games under our belts, that changed. They’re going hard in practice, doing the things we ask them to do, and it’s paying off.”

Bartholomew, a senior forward who leads the Rams in scoring, said the team chemistry is strong on and off the floor.

“We just gel together,” he said. “We do things together outside of basketball.”

West St. John has climbed all the way to 9th in the state power rankings, and are in line to host a first round playoff game.

WSJ (9-10, 8-2) led 29-19 at halftime, but quickly put things away in the second half following a quick 8-0 run to begin the third quarter. Oubre scored on a putback to kickstart that, then Lamore Boudoin hit a runner. Oubre scored on a drive, then Bartholomew followed with a bucket of his own to make it 37-19.

Hemmenway finally scored to break up the run, but the Rams didn’t relent. Taylor scored to answer, making it 39-23. WSJ led by 22 after another Bartholomew bucket. WSJ led 53-31 entering the fourth quarter, and the Rams led by 35 at one point.

“We wanted to score 80 tonight, but fell a little short,” Bartholomew said.

“Coach Davis wanted us to pick up the pace at halftime. We came out flat in the first half, but we improved.”

Said Davis, “Getting the ball out in transition was probably the biggest key.”

Bartholomew and Taylor were two of the team’s seniors celebrated on the team’s senior night, and they responded with a combined 38 of the Rams’ 78 points, both offering tough scoring on the interior.

“We had an obvious height advantage with Morell,” Davis said. “Da’Jon plays bigger than his 6’1” frame. I thought they both gave tremendous effort.”