Griffins fall to West Jeff in closing seconds of Spartan Classic title

Peter Silas Pasqua
Dutchtown’s Jordon Biagas drives on West Jefferson’s Dwayne Wilson in the first half of the Buccaneers’ 46-44 victory in the championship game of the Spartan Classic Wednesday night.

West Jefferson’s Bryan Hampton tipped in a missed free throw with 1.8 seconds remaining to deliver a 46-44 victory over Dutchtown in the championship game of the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic Wednesday night at EAHS’ gym.

Kadeem Allen’s first free throw knotted it up after Dutchtown missed the front end of two bonus free throws in the closing minute.

“The kids put forth a valiant effort,” Dutchtown head coach Patrick Hill said. “Both teams played well. I think at the end fatigue set in. We are playing five or seven guys and they were playing 10 guys that are very athletic. That is tough. We had a chance to win it and just fell short. Hopefully, we will learn from this.

“We missed the front end of two one and ones. That hurt us real bad but that is the way it goes sometimes. You can’t reverse the hand of time.”

Devon Ester’s dunk off a steal with 1:15 left to play put the Griffins ahead 44-43 in a game that changed leads 16 times and was tied nine times.

“It is almost a matter of luck,” West Jefferson head coach Rusty Jones said. “Both teams played hard and it just bounced our way luckily for us at the right time. That was the difference. We both made mistakes but we both played hard.

“You always like to win. It is a big tournament and it should be a momentum builder for us as we get ready for district.”

Dwayne Wilson led all scorers with 11 points for West Jefferson (11-7). Allen added nine and Hampton, Auburn County and Jamal Green each provided six.

Scott Burgess led Dutchtown (7-7) with 18 points. Terrence Cushenberry added eight after sitting most of the first half in foul trouble, while Jordon Biagas provided seven and Ester had six.

Biagas fed Cushenberry for a 3-pointer on the left wing to open the contest before Green’s drive off County’s block. Wilson’s 3-pointer from near the top of the key knotted it up 5-5 before Erik Hanneman’s putback. 

Burgess’ free throws put Dutchtown ahead 11-9 after Dorian Williams fed Ester inside. The Griffins went back ahead on Biagas’ 18-foot jumper from the right corner after Allen’s. John Williams’ dish to Biagas inside gave Dutchtown  their biggest lead of the contest, 19-11, going into the second quarter.

Chris Grady fed Green for a 3-pointer in the left corner to open the second frame and again to knot it up 23-23 after Jamon Brown’s drive, Burgess’ pull up jumper just inside the top of the key and goaltending on Grady’s attempt.

Wilson’s lay up from Grady off Brown’s steal put West Jefferson ahead briefly.?Biagas’ dish to Ester in transition just before the buzzer gave the Griffins a 28-27 halftime lead after Wilson fed Hampton inside.

County’s putback opened the second half. Cushenberry’s drive was answered by another County putback and one before Allen’s baseline jumper in transition and layup off a steal.

Burgess’ pull up jumper and two technical free throws put Dutchtown back ahead 37-36 going into the fourth quarter.

Allen’s dish to Wilson for a 3-pointer on the left wing opened the final frame before Hampton’s reverse and Hanneman’s putback gave West Jefferson the biggest lead of the contest, 43-37.

Dutchtown quickly answered when John Williams fed Burgess for a 3-pointer on the left wing before Burgess went coast to coast in transition.

Allen was named MVP of the tournament. The All-Tournament team included East Ascension’s?Keith Fleming and Tyler Wright, South Lafourche’s Caden Cheramie, Donaldsonville’s Kelvon Davis and Devon Breaux, Central Lafourche’s Rex Poindexter, Catholic’s Kevin Caire and Tanner Breaux, Dutchtown’s Scott Burgess and Devon Ester, St.?Amant’s Steve Fulkerson, Denham Springs’ Randy Lathers and West Jefferson’s Dwayne Wilson and Jamal Green.

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Dutchtown’s Dorian Williams takes a shot attempt against West Jefferson’s Bryan Hampton and Kadeem Allen in the first half of the Buccaneers’ 46-44 victory in the championship game of the Spartan Classic Wednesday night.