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(Rick Hickman / American Press)

(Rick Hickman / American Press)

St. Louis girls, Wash.-Marion boys off to strong starts

Last Modified: Monday, January 07, 2013 6:15 PM

By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

The St. Louis girls and Washington-Marion boys have overcome youth to get off to good starts this season.

Tonight, both teams will look to keep the momentum going on the opening night of District 4-4A play at Washington-Marion.

The Charging Indians boys are off to a 13-5 start despite starting the season with only one player from last year’s rotation. W-M has wins over Peabody (15-3) and Tioga (20-1).

“It went pretty good, our young guys grew up a little bit,” said W-M head coach Albert Hartwell. “It was a learning situation. We learned how to play together more. We had to get to know (freshman forward) Mark Vital, had to learn (sophomore forward) Jeremiah Warren.”

Hartwell said he expects another tough district race. Opelousas is off to a 14-5 start and Beau Chene is 10-7. LaGrange (8-10), St. Louis (8-12) and DeRidder (6-11) have had inconsistent starts to the season.

Hartwell said the local contingent of teams are all dealing with inexperience.

“It is still going to be tough, everyone is young except Opelousas and Beau Chene,” he said.

“We need to take what we have learned predistrict and take it to a new level. Everyone is 0-0 now. It is all about the wins and taking care of home court. Home court means even more to us now with the inexperience.”

In the girls game, St. Louis (13-8) will look to add to its three-game winning streak. W-M enters the game with a 6-11 record.

“I am very pleased, we played a tough schedule and have set ourselves up for a good district run,” said Saints head coach Tony Johnson of his team’s predistrict performance.

“We have played tough competition. We beat a good Notre Dame club the other day, played well on the road in a game with a playoff atmosphere. We are starting to grow up and we have three freshman giving us good minutes. We are starting to get into basketball shape now since so many of our girls also play volleyball.”

Johnson said he has a good pair of senior leaders.

“Hillary Henning and Jada Peltier have been through the ringer, they have been to the playoffs every year and know what to expect,” he said.

“They are also the hardest workers in practice. You play how you practice.”

Johnson said Washington-Marion presents a formidable challenge.

“They are very well-coached. (Ashley) Cherry is doing good job on block and the guard (Monasha) Eddie was all district last year and shoots the three well,” he said.

“We have been holding people to 35 points per game over last six. Think defense is going to have to come through for us again. The district is well-matched, (defending champion) DeRidder is returning three or four starters and W-M is not bad at all and has been playing pretty good. It is going to be a tough task to win district, anyone can beat anyone else every night.”

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