• 61°

Lady Rams playoff run ends; Hamilton notches 22 pts & 11 steals in final game

NEW ORLEANS — West St. John High’s Stevante Hamilton posted double-digit points and steals for the third consecutive game in the girls basketball playoffs, but it wasn’t enough to close Thursday night’s quarterfinal battle with a win.

The Lady Rams, ranked No. 7, ended the 2019 season with a 50-60 loss against No. 2 seed KIPP-Booker T. Washington.

Though KIPP took an early lead in the first quarter, rising over West St. John 11-3 minutes after tipoff, the game was hard fought to the end with both teams making runs.

Head coach Lester Smith said his team expected a challenge from KIPP after the Lions ran away with a 63-27 win over West St. John earlier this season.

“We had a good game plan and we played well,” Smith said. “We turned the ball over more than what we normally want to do, but other than that, I think it was a really good game. We continued to make plays and continued to hustle to the end.”

Hamilton and Destiny Johnson, both seniors, combined for a Lady Rams comeback in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 50-50 with just less than four minutes remaining in the game.

Stevante Hamilton was a driving force for the Lady Rams.

From there, West St. John ran into foul trouble trying to secure possession while KIPP closed the game with a 10-point run.

Hamilton ended her final high school basketball game with 22 points, 11 steals and eight rebounds. Junior Kylie Adams put forth a notable performance with 11 points and 20 rebounds.

Smith is pleased with West St. John’s 28-8 season record and the vast improvement the girls have shown since the their last game against KIPP.

“Next year, we’re looking to do the same things,” Smith said. “We’re going to be a little young, but I think we’re going to be successful.”

Jazmine Jessie takes a practice free throw.