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Tigers sweep ESJ Wildcats during weekday double header

BOUTTE — A long awaited matchup between the East St. John Wildcats and the Hahnville Tigers ended in a sweep for the Hahnville Tigers on Tuesday night. Both the girls and boys Wildcats teams fell short and lost to the Tigers.

The Lady Wildcats, coming off a win over H.L. Bourgeois, hoped to take the Lady Tigers down in their district as well. The Wildcats boys, still reeling from the victory over the Tigers in January, hoped to amass another win over the Tigers. But the Tigers were ready this time around and the Lady Tigers continued to defend and keep their undefeated district record on Tuesday night.

The Lady Wildcats had déjà vu, coming out strong and closely trailing the Lady Tigers in the first quarter with an 18-14 score in favor of the Lady Tigers. Both teams kept close and traded baskets all night and the Lady Tigers lead didn’t get too far ahead in the first half with a score of 31-28.  The Lady Tigers came out in the second half strong and  widened the lead by as much as 12 points, but the Lady Wildcats pushed back. They came back strong with some three-point shots that decreased the lead to 10 points by the end of the third quarter and made the score 49-39.

Some big plays the Lady Tigers in the fourth quarter brought the Lady Wildcats well within reach of the win, as close as two points. However, the Lady Tigers were not going to go down without a strong fight. The Lady Tigers kept the pressure on and played strong defense and the Lady Wildcats fell. Even though the Lady Wildcats outscored the Lady Tigers 14-12 in the fourth quarter, it just wasn’t quite enough to keep the Lady Tigers from the win. The Lady Tigers started to pull away and widen the lead within the last two minutes of the game. The Lady Wildcats suffered another loss by the Lady Tigers with a final score of 61-53.

Big contributor for the Lady Wildcats with an outstanding 30 points was Jazmine Matthews. Big contributors for the Lady Tigers were Ah’Jaiah Kenner with 16 points and Kori Joseph with 14. The Lady Wildcats’ records is now 9-6, and they are third in the 5A district with a 5-3 record. The Lady Tigers move forward with a 13-3 overall record, and they are undefeated in the 5A district with a 6-0 record.

In the second game of this double header, the East St. John Wildcats tried to repeat a victory over the Tigers but the Tigers were hungry for revenge. The last meeting between these two teams ended in a 70-66 win for the Wildcats. Both teams came out strong from the jump. The Wildcats were close on the trail of the Tigers, where both teams traded baskets. The Tigers started off big and took the lead in the first quarter with a score of 20-12. The Wildcats played strong on both ends of the court, both offensively and defensively, as they tried to stay with the Tigers and not let the lead get out of hand. The Wildcats were determined to keep the Tigers close. The Tigers pulled away a little in the second quarter, but strong defense ruled the court as the first half ended with a score of 23-29 in favor of the Tigers.

The Tigers started off the second half on a high note as they extended the lead to 12 points. The Wildcats tried to run with the Tigers as the Tigers went on an 8-0 run before the Wildcats scored. The Tiger defense made the Wildcats rush their offense as they continued to keep the pressure on. By midway the third quarter, the Wildcats zone defense tried to contain the Tigers’ outside shots as the lead went up to 13 points with under three minutes left. The Tigers kept pounding the Wildcats with relentless shoots and rebounds which helped the Tigers stay ahead as well as extend the lead over the Wildcats to 19 by the end of the third quarter. The score was East St. John 34 and Hahnville had 53. The Tigers outscored the Wildcats 24-11 in the third to keep the lead wide going into the fourth. 

The Wildcats went into the fourth quarter in a deficit of 19 points as some of their shots started to fall in their attempt to bridge the gap between them and the Tigers. The Tigers tried to slow the ball as they maintained the lead over the Wildcats, but the Wildcats attempted to put shots in and decrease the lead. The Tigers kept sinking their claws into the Wildcats as they kept sinking shots. Although the Wildcats outscored the Tigers in the fourth quarter 26-19, it just wasn’t enough to stop the Tigers from amassing the lead and maintaining it to take the win. The Tigers took this victory with a score of 72-60.

The Tigers big contributors were Claudell Harris, Jr. with 22 points and Kaden Pierre with 18 points. Big Contributors for The “E” was Jahyrie Victor with 24 points. The Wildcats’ loss made their record 16-6, with a district record of 5-1.