Trojans survive late Hahnville rally
Tue. January 28, 2014 at 7:19 a.m. | By Keyon Jeff/Sports Correspondent
Central Lafourche's Josh Joseph (20) stares down the double team of Hahnville's Jamal Smith and Shawn Maher (24) during Monday's District 7-5A game. (Photo by Keyon K. Jeff/Correspondent)
MATHEWS — Central Lafourche boys basketball team held a 24-point lead early in the fourth quarter of Monday night's District 7-5A game against Hahnville.
However, in less than five minutes, the Trojans sizable advantage almost completely disappeared.
Hahnville rattled off runs of 7-0 and 13-1 behind a trapping defense that forced several Trojans turnovers, making three straight from 3-point range and getting to the foul line. When Hahnville's Jamal Smith nailed a 3-pointer with 2:20 remaining, the Trojans lead was down to 56-53.
But Quade Williams, with a game high 20 points, came to Central Lafourche's rescue. First he drove hard to the basket for a lay-up and the foul. Then he stole the ball on the ensuing Tigers possession. His outlet pass led to a lay-up by Josh Joseph that secure the Trojans 68-56 victory.
"If we kept playing defense like we did the first three quarters the game's not even close with that lead," Trojans head coach Mark Sanders said. "Still, we finished another game; that's four in a row. We didn't win one game in district last year, and now we're 4-2 in district."
Besides Williams, the Trojans got double digit scoring efforts from Joseph (16), Ramon Robinson (15) and Quindon Charles (10).
Shawn Maher sparked the Tigers attack with 16 points, along with 15 from Juwan Green and 13 from Smith.
"We certainly played a heck of a lot better offensive in the second half," Tigers head coach Jerry Hernandez said. "To take a 24-point lead on somebody's home court and cut it down the three with more than two minutes to play, that's certainly a positive for us."
Central Lafourche (11-8, 4-2 district) used its outside shot to get off to a strong start. They scored 10 consecutive points, including 3-pointers from Joseph and Charles, to end the first quarter up 14-6.
In the second and third quarters, Central Lafourche pounded the ball inside to Williams and Robinson. During a stretch of nine unanswered points, Robinson ended the half with a basket plus the foul to give the Trojans a 26-14 lead at halftime.
Then Williams began the third quarter with a three-point play and later threw down a thunderous dunk as the Trojans lead ballooned to 47-23 early in the fourth quarter.
"I thought our inside game was pretty good; still the key to us getting points is our defense," Sanders said. "We had to establish our shots in the paint. If teams are pressuring our perimeter players, our wings have the ability and the green light to drive to the basket."
"Defensively, we weren't very good. We gave up way too many offensive rebounds, dribble penetration and lay-ups," Hernandez said. "You can't win given up that much on those aspects of the game."
Throughout the Hahnville comeback, Green was attacking the rim and drawing fouls on most of his made lay-ups. Meanwhile, Maher sank back-to-back 3-pointers, and Smith drained a pair of treys. But the Tigers rally fell short.
Despite the result, both coaches came away from Monday's contest with the same question. How can I get my team to play hard for four quarters?
"We keep getting ourselves in this big hole. It's just a habit that we got to break," Hernandez said. "We can't do that and expect to cut it down to three or four and get back in the game. That doesn't happen all the time."
"We got to put four quarters together. That's a mark of a good team," Sanders said. "We can play great basketball for three quarters in our league, and if we screw-up for two or three minutes, we can be 20 down. We got a tough league and we can't let up. So we have to start finishing the fourth quarter hard and smart, the same way we started the first three quarters."
CENTRAL LAFOURCHE 33(GIRLS)
Also in Mathews, the Lady Tigers carved through the Lady Trojans interior defense and outran them for transition buckets en route to the District 7-5A victory
Hahnville (7-15, 3-5 district) got a balanced scoring attack from Ru'yana Bossier with 14 points, Asia Jupiter with 11 and seven each by Harley Morris and Janet Marshall.
Taima Danos led Central Lafourche (7-15, 0-8 district) with 12 points, followed by Jessica Loupe with six.
Hahnville led 18-6 the first quarter, 30-15 at halftime, and 45-22 after three quarters.