THIBODAUX – A road win by Hahnville on Tuesday night at Thibodaux would have clinched no worse than a share of the District 7-5A title with one regular season game remaining in league play.
Bren’naisa Adams and her Thibodaux teammates were not so quick to give up a potential share of the title themselves with a resounding 61-33 defeat of Hahnville.
Adams scored 25 points and was a force on the boards both on the offensive and defensive end as Thibodaux took control from the start to leave both teams 9-2 in district play. Hahnville fell to 20-12 overall, while Thibodaux improved to 19-9.
“She’s a dominant force in the post. When she settles herself and she takes her time, she is hard to stop in that area. She did what she had to do and everybody played their well role tonight,” Thibodaux coach Ashley Adams said of the 6-foot-2 center.
Also in the mix for the league title is H.L. Bourgeois. The Lady Braves also are 9-2 in district while all teams have one league game remaining.
Thibodaux plays at Destrehan on Thursday while Hahnville is at East St. John on Friday and HLB travels to Destrehan on Saturday.
If all three win out, it will be a three-way tie for the district title.
Tuesday’s game was much different from an earlier encounter between the teams when Hahnville won 61-52.
A big difference in in Tuesday’s tilt involved Thibodaux taking advantage of its size, particularly the play of Adams, to control the boards. Hahnville, which had trouble getting the ball to fall into the basket saw the problem exasperated by not being able to get shots off of offensive rebounds.
“That was part of our game plan,” Ashley Adams said. “I felt in the first game, they kind of beat us on the boards. They are so aggressive and are such a good team. I made a point to tell them we had to win the rebounds.”
“It goes both ways. When you are not crashing the boards, you are not getting that. When they are finishing their shots, and they are already up, it’s hard to kind of fight back on that. At the end of the day, whether we were getting second shots or not, we need to finish. Even when we did get a second shot, we weren’t putting it in and finishing,” said Hahnville coach Arriana Smith-Martin.
Thibodaux was already up 14-6 after the first quarter, thanks to three, 3-pointers by senior Kayland Johnson.
“Kayland is a phenomenal athlete. She came out ready to play. She wanted to win bad for her team,” said Ashley Adams.
“The initial 3-pointers were crucial at the time, but at the same time, it wasn’t so bad that we couldn’t have fought back, even if our shots had been falling. That was the disappointing part. I don’t think we came here with confidence of wanting to play. I think we came with the confidence that we had won before and that came to really show,” said Smith-Martin.
Adams, the Thibodaux center, took over in the second quarter. Three consecutive layups – the first one become a three-point play because of a foul – gave THS a 32-8 lead with 1:9 left in the first half.
Hahnville didn’t reach double-digit scoring as a team until two free throws by Yelah Moses made the score 34-10 with 1:08 left before halftime. HHS scored the final five points of the half to trail 34-15 at the break.
HHS was held to four points in the third quarter as Thibodaux extended its advantage to 45-19 heading into the final quarter.
Hahnville’s best run the game was seven points in the fourth quarter. It began with 5:52 left in the game on a 3-pointer by Danae Lorio – HHS’ only 3-pointer of the game.
Two free throws by Carlyn Smith with 1:18 left in the game gave Thibodaux a 30-point lead at 59-29 as THS went on to win 61-33.
Adams asked her team to dig deep Tuesday to avenge the loss from earlier in the season to Hahnville and her Lady Tigers came through.
“We start workouts in August. We got through our summer league and they have been working all year. I told them all your hard work will play off tonight. I wanted to see that heart, that effort and energy and all the things they had been working for. I wanted to see it tonight,” the Thibodaux coach said.