When the Destrehan Wildcats made the trip to Thibodaux last month for their District 7-5A basketball game, coach Angi Butler said she knew early that her team would be in for a long night.
“The last time we played them, (the Wildcats) were warming up, kind of clowning around,” Butler said. “I pulled them into the locker room and I told them, ‘You’re not ready to play ball. I can tell by the way you’re warming up that your minds aren’t right.’ I could tell they weren’t in their rhythm.”
Butler was right. Her Wildcats fought a tough battle against the Tigers, coming away with a 37-30 win, but finishing with their lowest point total of the season and one of their smallest margins of victory
So on Friday, Butler made sure her girls were ready. She needn’t have worried.
Destrehan showed the visiting Tigers what the real Destrehan team looks like, taking a fast and furious 74-14 win. Nine Wildcats scored in the game. Seven players scored in the first quarter alone, during which the Wildcats did not turn the ball over once on the way to a 25-10 lead. Thibodaux managed to tie the game once — at 3 in the opening minutes.
Cara Ursin led the Wildcats with 15 points, followed by Krysten Kenner with 14 and Jerlicia Morris with 13. Jasmine Morris finished with 11, starting the scoring with a 3-pointer.
Thibodaux got nine points from Destiny Batiste, but no Tiger reached double figures.
“This time we definitely came ready,” Ursin said. “Last time, we were clowning around and playing around. Coach told us, ‘You can’t play before a game. Any game.’ We just came with our minds ready this time and did what we had to do.”
Butler said she and her players knew that Thibodaux was a fast and physical team and that they could not be overlooked.
“Like us, they’re aggressive, and they know how to get down the court fast,” Jasmine Morris said. “And a couple of times during the game, they were getting the ball over our heads. That’s when we realized, we have to play how we play.”
In the first game against Thibodaux, Destrehan had seven turnovers in the first quarter and could not make a shot. Then the Wildcats went 3-of-19 at the free-throw line that night.
“It was horrible,” Butler said. “That was our worst game all year. That’s not our regular team. With that in mind going into tonight, I told them they cannot drop this game. This has to be a game where their minds are right, and they have to make free throws. And we cannot underestimate this team because they’re coming ready to play.”
The Wildcats were 10-of-15 from the free-throw line Friday.
Destrehan improved to 21-2 and 12-0 heading into the final week of district play. The Wildcats face Central Lafourche on Tuesday, then travel to South Lafourche on Friday. The Tarpons are holding onto second place in the district. Thibodaux fell to 15-9, 8-4.