Brother Martin’s gym looked more like "Sesame Street" on Thursday night as it was all about Grover.
Glenn Grover Jr. dominated all night, putting up 29 points in leading Hahnville to a 77-69 victory over East St. John to advance to the semifinals of the Allstate Sugar Bowl CYO tournament.
“It feels really good,” Grover said. “We’re just trying to keep moving, follow coach’s game plan and stay humble. If we do thatc we can keep winning.”
Hahnville coach Yussef Jasmine is looking forward to moving on to the next round. The Tigers will take on De La Salle at 6 p.m. Friday at Jesuit.
“I feel good about (Friday),” Jasmine said. “I feel that when we’re playing our best, we can compete with anyone. We’ve got to clean up some things, but it’s still early on in the season so we have time to get those things cleaned up and get to where we need to be.”
The Wildcats were excited about facing Jasmine, who coached East St. John for 13 years, nine as the head coach, before moving on to Hahnville this season.
Current East St. John coach Charles Julien understood his player’s motivation going into the game.
“I think my kids were probably torn tonight,” Julien said. “I think they love (Jasmine), I think they have a lot of respect for him and they wanted to win the game. We’re trying to transition now with a new system and I think they’re picking it up. (Jasmine) is a veteran coach and he did a good job tonight, so I tip my hat off to Hahnville.
We’re going to get it together and get to where we need to be to face them again in district.”
The game began as a close one with Hahnville holding a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
When the second quarter came around, it was all about Grover as the senior piled up 11 points to push his team to a 40-25 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats came back fighting with smothering defense and the powerful play of Javon Antonio, who made his presence felt in the paint as East St. John closed the gap to 51-42 going into the final quarter. Antonio finished with 16 points.
The fourth quarter is where things got interesting. With 1:27 remaining, ESJ's Allen Williams hit a 3 to pull the Wildcats within eight. Forty-five seconds later, Williams sank another 3 to pull East St. John within five. Williams' 3-pointer with 34 seconds remaining pulled the Wildcats within 72-69.
Hahnville's Claudell Harris Jr. extended the Tigers' lead to five and the Tigers held on.