Dutchtown to stress execution in 08-09

Peter Silas Pasqua
Dutchtown’s Earl Warren and Scott Burgess were all-district first-team selections a year ago. Warren is a transfer from East Iberville and Burgess averaged 14 points per game.

GEISMAR - Dutchtown squeaked into the playoffs last season as the 30th seed before being ousted by district and parish rival East Ascension in the Class 5A bi-district playoffs.

It was the Griffins first playoff appearance since 2005 and second ever. Dutchtown finished the year with an 11-19 overall record taking third in District 6-5A.

“Making the playoffs and letting them play from there is always the goal of every team,” Dutchtown head coach Patrick Hill said. “You can’t get to the state championship game if you don’t make the playoffs. When it is all said and done, I hope we are one of the 32 teams.”

Dutchtown loses first-team all-district selections in Jamie Payton and Thomas Jackson but return another in junior Scott Burgess, who averaged 14.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, while hitting 83 percent from the free throw line.

“He is the only guy we really have returning for us,” Hill said of Burgess. “He has more experience than anybody we have. He has to be a strong defender and contribute on the offensive end.”

The Griffins offense this season will run out of the hands of Earl Warren, a senior transfer from East Iberville who averaged 30 point per game in being named to District 9-1A’s first team.

“He is a basketball player,” Hill said. “He can shoot anywhere and can handle the basketball. He is a decent defender but has to get better. As time goes by, his play is getting better and better. He makes the best decisions with the basketball.”

The Griffins also return Lyle Mock at center. Jordan Biagas and Terrence Cushenberry are Dutchtown’s other starters. Also seeing time in the Griffins’ rotation should be Reggie LaBrave, Devon Ester, John Williams and Deldrick Hunt.

“We have had some early success,” Hill said. “A win is a win. They play hard. I think that is a positive and they want to be coached. They have to work on chemistry and getting to know each others’ strengths and weaknesses. We are just trying to put the pieces back together.”

Dutchtown is starting a tough pre-district schedule. The Griffins opened the season hosting Scotlandville, then traveled to Central. Dutchtown faced Denham Springs in the Grady Hornsby Classic Tuesday in Denham Springs.

The Griffins then play in the Gold Dome Classic at St. Amant before hosting Assumption and traveling to Istrouma, and Broadmoor before Christmas.

Dutchtown is scheduled to compete in the Spartan Classic at East Ascension before closing out pre-district play against Istrouma and Woodlawn.

“Everybody in our district is good,” Hills said. “Hopefully we will be in the mix at the end of the year. You just have to go out and play. We want to win every game but more importantly we want to execute. We don’t want a false sense of security. It is all about execution in the end.”