St. Amant expecting great things in 08-09

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant’s Rashaun Claiborne returns for his senior season after earning first-team all-district honors last season while averaging 19 points per game.

ST. AMANT - St. Amant head coach Gary Duhe is expecting great things from his squad this season and with due right.

The Gators return two first-team all-district selection in seniors Rashaun Claiborne and Brandon Morris.

“We come back with a lot of experience,” Duhe said. “Our overall depth stands out. We have nine guys that can play. We have experience, athleticism, a little height and quickness. We have the makings of a complete team but we have to put it together. You don’t win championships on paper. You have to perform on the floor.”

Morris averaged 19.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for St. Amant last season. Claiborne had 18.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

“It is a pleasure to coach when your best players are also your hardest workers,” Duhe said. 

Also returning for the Gators is point guard Bruce Mathison.

“He has the toughest job on the floor,” Duhe said. “Any point guard that plays for me has to read my mind and make sure he is an extension of the coach on the floor and Bruce is doing an exceptionally good job of that. He understands the concept of team.”

Nick Morris is a sharp shooter that will start at guard. Other shooters include Jacob Gautheir and Jeff St. Pierre.

“They have developed their shooting so we are getting to be a complete team,” Duhe said. “When people try to double team someone there are the other guys that can really shot the ball extremely well.”

Steve Fulkerson, a junior, returns to center after gaining valuable experience a year ago.

“We are trying to win everyday regardless of it is a game or practice,” Duhe said. “We are trying to win everyday and get better everyday. Our goal is to try to be playing basketball in March. We expect to play hard and compete in every game. If you play unselfish and together as a team, the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”

St. Amant opened the season by winning the Donaldsonville Tiger Classic, then defeated Springfield at the Grady Hornsby Classic. The Gators are hosting the Gold Dome Classic this week with teams such as Washington-Marion, Ouachita and East St. John scheduled to attend.

The non-district schedule also includes nearly every team from the old District 3-5A – Catholic, Woodlawn, Denham Springs and Central. Others include Donaldsonville, Ponchatoula and Rummel.

“We are in the mix but our district is very good,” Duhe said. We know we are going to have our hands full. The key is to stay healthy but more importantly be playing better basketball in January and February than right now. If this is the best we are going to play all year, we are going to be an average basketball team. We are going to win games because we have good players with talent but if we want to be exceptional, we have to work to improve and get better.”

“Our goal is to try and win the last game we play. The key is just to be consistent everyday. Basketball is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to show up for three months. You can’t take nights off. Championship teams don’t do that.”