Gators strong in stretch to wear down Dutchtown

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant’s Rashaun Claiborne blocks Dutchtown’s Scott Burgess in the fourth quarter of the Gators’ 56-53 victory Tuesday night.

ST. AMANT - Dutchtown missed three free throws down the stretch as St. Amant moved into sole possession of second place in district 6-5A standings with a 56-53 victory Tuesday night at the Gold Dome.

“They played well,” St. Amant head coach Gary Duhe said. “I thought we got caught up in senior night. We didn’t play bad but we never did play as sharp as we are capable of playing. That is human nature and happens sometimes. They battled us.”

“Tonight, we didn’t have balanced scoring. In this run in district we have been having, three or four guys are in double figures. That has been the strength of our team. Luckily, we have those two great players that baled us out. It was a game we won as a program. That is very important and you are going to have some of those this time of year. ”

Brandon Morris led St. Amant with 23 points and Rashaun Claiborne added 20. Bruce Mathison provided eight.

St. Amant (22-9, 6-3) will play for a share of the district championship Friday night at Hahnville (5-4) in Boutte. East St. John currently sits in first-place with a 7-2 mark and hosts East Ascension Friday night.

Scott Burgess led Dutchtown (15-13, 3-6) with 17 points. Earl Warren added 12, while Eddie Lacy provided 11. Todd Biagas contributed seven and Terrance Cushenberry had six.

“We played well,” Dutchtown head coach Patrick Hill said. “St. Amant just outplayed us. We played hard. They just had the better hand.”

Cushenberry’s putback cut it to 49-47 before Morris nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner. Mathison fed Claiborne inside after Lacy’s free throw. Claiborne, Burgess, Lacy and Mathison each made one of two free throws before Burgess 3-pointer with three seconds remaining reflected the final tally.

“Sometimes we have to guard guys physically stronger than us but hopefully with what we have learned in practice about cutting off angles and staying in front of a man, they can guard them,” Duhe said. “We have a couple of them that can (jump). They know how to play the game.”

St. Amant led 24-18 at half-time. Morris fed Mathison to open the third frame before Cushenberry’s free throws and Claiborne’s inside bucket. Burgess’ free throws cut it to 31-27 after his bucket off Warren’s save following Mathison’s drive and one. Claiborne fed a cutting Morris before Burgess’ drive.

Morris’ pull up and one made it 38-31 after Warren drove lane. Burgess’ 3-pointer from Warren with three seconds left cut it to 41-36 going into the final stanza after Lacy’s spin inside and Mathison’s dish to Morris for a 3-pointer in transition.    

Burgess’ putback opened the final frame before Morris’ 3-pointer and Claiborne’s alley lay up from Mathison made it 46-38. Dutchtown used a 7-0 run highlighted by Cushenberry’s dish to Burgess inside to cut it to two after Nick Morris nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner.

St. Amant led 15-10 after the first quarter of play.

Dutchtown’s Earl Warren converts over St. Amant’s Bruce Mathison and Brandon Morris in the second half of the Gators’ 56-53 victory Tuesday night.