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Ellender dominates Hahnville

The Ellender Lady Patriots cruised to a home-court victory Tuesday over the Hahnville Lady Tigers in Houma. (Photo by Chris Heller/Staff)

Ellender put together its most complete effort of the young season Tuesday evening in an 85-41 nondistrict victory over Hahnville.

The Lady Patriots shot efficiently from the perimeter, while defensively they converted a plethora of Lady Tigers turnovers into fast-break baskets.

Four Lady Patriots scored in double figures. Sky Jasper led the attack with 17 points, followed by Kara Scott with 16, Sage Scott with 13, and Amari Banks with 11.

“They are executing a little bit better,” Ellender head coach Kenneth Dixon said. “So that gives me hope that if I continue going over the things I want them to do that they will catch on.”

Ellender (6-2) took advantage of a soft Hahnville zone defense in the first quarter. They scored the initial eight points of the game and made five 3-pointers in the period. Kara and Sage hit two each and Shakira Bingham (eight) sank one to give Ellender a 31-7 lead after the quarter.

“We’ve been working on the technique of shooting 3-pointers correctly and not rushing the shot,” Dixon said. “If that’s your shot and you feel comfortable taking it and if your feet are set, then I’m happy.”

“Any time you play a zone defense, you want the other team to shoot from the outside,” Hahnville head coach Kevin Robicheaux said. “Of course you want them to shoot with a hand in their face, and we weren’t doing that.”

The second quarter was slowed by both teams constantly going to the free throw line. Still, Ellender increased its lead to 27 thanks to a basket plus the foul from Brienna Butler (five points). Ellender took a 46-19 advantage into halftime.

The Lady Patriots defense stiffened in the second half. They pounded the offensive boards for second-chance points and jumped into the Hahnville passing lanes, turning steals into layups.

Ellender went on a 9-0 run midway through the period —sparked by a Jasper basket and the foul— to put the Lady Patriots ahead 70-29 after the third quarter.

“This was one of the better shooting performances I’ve seen,” Dixon said. “We also shot the ball well when we played them (Friday) at their tournament. So I don’t know if it’s our shooting or their defense.”

Janet Marshall led Hahnville in scoring with 13 points, followed by Anitra Jefferson with eight.

While his team played better as the game went on, Robicheaux recognized that getting off to slow starts is a problem he needs to address.

“We didn’t come out ready to play,” he said. “Against a team like Ellender, they’re going to make you pay.”

Dixon is beginning to see his constant harping on players bear fruit and wants to build on the momentum they are creating.

“I think they’re getting used to what I want. Now I can implement more offensive and defensive schemes and mix it up,” he said. “If I’m persistent, they will be consistent.”