AND NO MORE: No. 12 Hahnville halts 13th seeded Spartan’s run in quarterfinals

Peter Silas Pasqua
East Ascension’s Corey Lane attempts to gather a rebond against Hahnville’s Warren?LeBeouf and Derek Howard in the second quarter of the Tigers’ 63-46 Class 5A quarterfinal playoff victory Friday night. It was the third meeting of the year between the District 6-5A rivals who were seeded one spot from each other.

BOUTTE - There were no introductions before Friday night’s Class 5A quarterfinal playoff game between Hahnville and East Ascension at HHS’ gym.

There was no need to.

Twelfth seeded Hahnville and No. 13 East Ascension had already met twice during the year in District 6-5A play with the visitor falling during a split.

Home court advantage kept true for Hahnville during a 63-46 victory.

“(Hahnville) deserved to win this one,” East Ascension head coach Kenny Almond said. “They outplayed us. It is a disappointing end to a really good year but we are really proud of the way our guys played. We played through a bad spell in district and came back and had an opportunity to play this game.

“I thought our guys prepared well but maybe they didn’t necessarily bring it to the court tonight. We had some guys that didn’t play as well as they usually do. It wasn’t our best game but give them some credit. They had a lot to do with that. They are very athletic and tall. Our guys have had to overcome that all year long. We have done as well as we could do. They have a good team and they will represent our district well. Tonight we just didn’t get it done.”

Hahnville (29-7) moves on to the LHSAA Top 28 Tournament at the Cajundome in Lafayette this week to face No. 1 seed Huntington (41-1). East Ascension ends the season with an overall record of 30-8.

“It feels great but from day one, I told the guys we are not satisfied stopping here,” Hahnville head coach Brian Lumar said. “We want to continue to do the things that we are capable of doing and hopefully be victorious at the end.

“I give a lot of credit to East Ascension but tonight was our night. The benefit of playing a game like that is both teams know each other so it was however came tonight and left everything on the floor. I thought both teams played hard. I think we have been in this situation over and over throughout the year. It was an actual team effort. I don’t think we will get rattled at this time of the season. We want to slow things down and do the little things that got us to this point. We want to play controlled, fundamentally sound basketball.”

Keith Fleming led all scorers with 13 points for East Ascension. Gary Weber added 11, while Quinn Coco provided eight, Ferrell Strode contributed six, Kenny Varnado and Kerry Weber each had three and Corey Lane chipped in two.

Hahnville was led by Warren LeBeouf and Desmond Raymond each with 12 points. Bryon Gauthier and Jared Kinsey each had night, while Derek Raymond and Jauries Thomas each provided eight and Derek Howard had five.

East Ascension went ahead 8-3 early on two putbacks from Strode and jumpers from Gary Weber and Fleming. Hahnville took the lead on Kinsey’s putback after LeBeouf’s drive and Derek Raymond’s pull up jumper. Coco’s dish to Strode inside at the buzzer knotted it up 10-10 going into the second quarter.

Fleming’s free throw to open the second frame gave the Spartans their final lead as Hahnville used an 18-3 run to take control kickstarted by Desmond Raymond’s juke and jive followed by LeBeouf’s dish to Kinsey off a steal and Derek Raymond’s transition bucket.

“I think we started to step up our pressure on the defensive end of the court and that led to some easy transition baskets,” Lumar said. “We caught them off guard a couple of times with a quick press. Just switching it up kind of threw them off a little bit.”

Coco’s putback and one preceded consecutive 3-pointer by Gauthier and Desmond Raymond from the right corner before LeBeouf pulled up in transition to give Hahnville a 28-14 lead with 3:14 left in the half.

Lane’s free throws preceded Thomas’ inside bucket before Varnado nailed a 3-pointer in the left corner. Howard’s dish to Thomas inside with three seconds remaining in the half sent the Tigers into the locker room with a 34-19 lead.

East Ascension cut it to five in the third quarter courtesy of a 16-4 run kickstarted by Fleming’s 19-foot jumper after Howard’s spin opened the half. Coco’s inside bucket preceded Desmond Raymond’s floater before Gary Weber nailed a 3-pointer on the left wing in transition. Fleming added 19-footers from the top of the key and right wing before Kerry Weber’s 3-pointer from the left wing cut it to 40-35 with 1:59 left in the quarter but Thomas dunked in transition to swing momentum. During the later part of the Spartans run, Lane picked up three fouls within 30 seconds.

“We missed two lay ups to open the half,” Almond said. “We got it back to five and then a few things happened and it got back away from us and we couldn’t get over the hump.”

Hahnville took a 47-35 lead going into the final frame. Gary Weber’s floater in the lane opened the stanza before Gauthier nailed two 3-pointer and Derek Raymond added another as the Tigers built a 59-39 lead on Kinsey’s free throw. Derek Raymond’s baseline drive reflected the final tally after Coco’s 3-pointer and Gary Weber’s drive in transition.

“They started to make a little run but our guys maintained their composure and didn’t rattled,” Lumar said. “I just think when you get a collection of guys playing defense like they played tonight - that made the difference.”

The game marked the conclusion of six seniors’ careers at East Ascension. Last season, the group was part of the school’s first trip to the state tournament in 20 years.

“All of our seniors really took on the burden of what last years’ seniors did and made it a good thing for us,” Almond said. “They really came through. That says a lot for basketball at East Ascension high school.”

East Ascension’s Keith Fleming goes up for a shot attmempt against Hahnville’s Jauries Thomas, Derek Howard and Warren LeBeouf in the fourth quarter of the Tigers’ quarterfinal playoff victory.