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Thibodaux's defense shines in win over Hahnville


Thibodaux's Christopher Bryant (2) pulls up for a shot as Hahnville's Timothy Roberts defend during Tuesday's game. (Photo by Abby Tabor/Staff)


Defense was the difference in Thibodaux's victory over Hahnville in Tuesday's District 7-5A opener for both teams.

Thibodaux held Hahnville to 17 first-half points as its defense forced numerous turnovers leading to transition buckets on the offense end. Thibodaux converted enough of those transition baskets to build a 26-point halftime lead, before cruising to a 67-36 victory over Hahnville.

The win gives Thibodaux (12-3 overall) a 1-0 start in district.

Thibodaux head coach Tony Clark said it's been some time since Thibodaux had a good start in district and defense and rebounding was the key in the win.

"That is how we started the season rebounding the ball, and I thought this was a strong effort for us rebounding and playing defense. It all gives us confidence, and our bigs played hard and got us some points on the inside and that was big" Clark said. "It's been a while since we started 1-0 (in district), but my team came to play. (Hahnville) was a big athletic team but we did a good job of stopping their dribble-penetration and limiting their guards."

A 6-0 run in the first quarter jump started by offensive rebounding help Thibodaux extend a three-point lead into a 13-4 advantage.

After Hahnville (7-7, 0-1 in district) got a basket from Jamal Smith (nine points) to make it a 7-4 score, Thibodaux responded with a basket from DeVaughn Brown and buckets from Donta Johnson and Natron Nora for the nine-point lead with 2:19 left in the first quarter. Both baskets from Johnson and Nora came off offensive rebounds helping Thibodaux build momentum and eventually a 15-8 first-quarter lead.

While it was rebounding was key in the first quarter, it was the defense that ignited Thibodaux in the second quarter.

Leading 21-11, Thibodaux began to force Hahnville into mistakes and turnovers allowing its running game to take flight. Thibodaux went on a 13-3 run over a four-minute stretch that gave them a 34-14 lead with 1:47 left in the second quarter. During the run Hahnville could only manage to make three free throws as Hahnville made just two field goals in the quarter.

Also during the run, Thibodaux's Christopher Bryant scored all of his 11 points, and it was his 3-pointer that gave Thibodaux the 20-point lead with 1:47 on the clock.

Thibodaux went on to take the 43-17 halftime lead, and Brown said getting off to a fast start at home was important in getting the win.

"Our coach told us that we needed to come out hot and come out ready to play. What people fail to realize is we haven't played well at home, and we wanted to show that we can play well at home as a team," Brown said. "We wanted to spread floor and run the floor because we were faster than them. Starting 1-0 tells the rest of this district this is not the same Thibodaux team. We have eight seniors and we want to make memories this season at Thibodaux High."

Hahnville outscored Thibodaux 13-11 in the third quarter to trail by 24 points, but Hahnville became a distant memory as Thibodaux turned up the defense once again in the fourth quarter.

A 13-2 run to start the fourth quarter gave Thibodaux its largest lead of the game at 67-32 when Leon Gordon made a 3-pointer with 1:28 left to play.

Thibodaux didn't score again as Hahnville added two free throws and a bucket to make it a 67-36 final.

Hahnville coach Jerry Hernandez said his team lacked discipline which helped Thibodaux's defensive pressure.

"We had no discipline and it showed very early," Hernandez said. "You can't play good teams and play without discipline and expect to win. We have to stay in control of our emotions and our guys worried about everything but the game."

THIBODAUX 65, HAHNVILLE 28 (GIRLS)

At Thibodaux, it was a fast start and a quick finish for the Thibodaux Lady Tigers in Tuesday's District 7-5A victory over Hahnville.

Thibodaux (12-3, 3-0 in district) jumped out to a 15-0 lead before Hahnville (5-12, 1-2 in district) scored a basket. Thibodaux went to build a 17-6 first-quarter lead before taking a 29-17 advantage at halftime.Thibodaux only scored nine points in the third quarter but still extended its lead to 38-20 in the third quarter before finishing with a flourish in the final period.

Thibodaux outscored Hahnville 17-8 in the fourth quarter to come away with the 37-point win.

Jewel Triggs led Thibodaux with 16 points, while Eris Stove finished with 11. Ru'yana Bossier led Hahnville with 11 points.