Hahnville was one of two River Parish teams to pick up a win in the opening round of the boys’ basketball playoffs.
The Tigers won at Lafayette 58-55 in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. Their reward for the victory is a home game against top-ranked Thibodaux on Tuesday – and that suits Hahnville coach Yussef Jasmine just fine.
“The last time we had Thibodaux, we were winning the whole game the end of the game,” said Jasmine, referring to a 74-72 road loss. “Before the playoffs began, I felt pretty good about our matchups. I kind of figured Thibodaux being the one seed, it would be tough for them to lose that first round.
“I love the matchup. I think personnel-wise, we match up good against them. I think we can guard them,”
In an earlier encounter between the teams, Thibodaux defeated Hahnville 73-55.
Thibodaux won it’s playoff opener 79-51 over Terrebonne, another District 7-5A foe.
St. James, the only other River Parish team to win Friday, defeated rival Donaldsonville 54-51.
The other three River Parish teams were all eliminated with road losses. Lutcher lost 64-41 to Breaux Bridge, West St. John fell to East Iberville 55-41, and Destrehan lost to LaGrange 94-71.
In Hahnville’s win over Lafayette, the Tigers managed leads of 19-17 after one quarter and 29-25 at the half. Hahnville led 42-36 heading into the fourth quarter.
“We made some big shots down the stretch,” Jasmine said. “They were down by about 10 and they made some contested threes with a hand in their face. We did pretty good hitting free throws down the stretch in closing out the game and had good clock management to end the game.
“We did a lot of work on our ‘in’ (inside) game and we did a great job of execution.”
Claudell Harris led Hahnville with 19 points while Kendrick Delahoussaye paced Lafayette with 17.
In. St. James’ win over Donaldsonville, the Wildcats grabbed an early lead and were able to make it hold up.
St. James lost two regular-season games to it’s district foe, falling 50-45 at Donaldsonville and 61-45 at home.
“It was grind. It was a game of runs. They made a run and we made a run and we never trailed in the game. We were able to keep a cushion,” said Smith.
Keithon Burhman had 20 points to lead St. James while Shamar Smith and Tonta Octave each chipped in 10 points.
“It was good to play well on the road and give ourselves a chance. Like I told the kids, you only have 32 minutes,” Smith said. “They hadn’t been in the playoffs in about four years and to get that win at this level, it was kind of what I envisioned for these guys when they were freshmen. I knew we would have a shot by the time they peaked.”
St. James, the No. 26 seed will face No. 10 seed Glen Oaks on Tuesday. Glen Oaks defeated No. 23 seed Crowley 53-48.
Lutcher trailed from the start in its game at Breaux Bridge, trailing 20-13 after one quarter and 37-24 at halftime.
“They were better,” Lutcher coach J.P. Piper said of Breaux Bridge. “They were older and more experienced. They were a better basketball team.
“We played hard. I was proud of them. We competed but we were overmatched.”
Copeland Williams led Lutcher with 16 points and Adrian Butler added 10.
Deandre Hypolite was the game’s leading scorer with 19 points. Dalton Alexander added 18 for Breaux Bridge and Trevonte Sylvester chipped in 14.
Although Lutcher finished with only 13 wins on the season, it was an improvement of 10 games in the win column for the Bulldogs from the previous season.
“During the year, the guys bought into defending. They worked hard in the practice on the things we were trying to do the year before. We were better offensively and shot the ball better. I think it was a significant step forward to get into the playoffs,” Piper said.
A young West St. John squad faded down the stretch in the Rams’ loss at East Iberville.
“We played pretty good. It came down to the fourth quarter. We got in foul trouble late in the fourth quarter. We had come crucial turnovers at crunch time,” West St. John coach Alton Joseph said.
Jared Bernard had 13 points for West St. John and Tyray Bartholomew chipped in nine. Shane Lewis had 11 rebounds for the Rams and ZyRon Wilson nine.
“Shane Lewis and ZyRon Wilson did a good job on the offensive and defensive boards,” said Joseph.
East Iberville’s Ja’tory Hardesty led all scorers with 18 points.
“I thought the season went real well,” said Joseph, reflecting on his team’s season. “I thought my guys dealt real well with adversity. We lost a bunch of key guys early in the season and I think our last 8-10 games, our young guys competed real well.”
In Destrehan’s loss at LaGrange, the Wildcats were beaten on the boards.
“They just had too many second and third chances. They killed us on the boards,” Destrehan coach Todd Bourg said.
A factor on the boards, Bourg said, was the loss of Mako Marin. Marin, at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, suffered a knee injury in the Wildcats’ second-to-last game of the regular season.
“He was one of our big, physical kids inside. He looks like a college football player, but he doesn’t play football,” said Bourg.