Parish basketball players make All-District 5-5A

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
East Ascension senior point guard Keith Thomas was named the District 5-5A MVP.

The high-school basketball season was a competitive one in Ascension Parish, and that goes especially for the three teams in District 5-5A.

Dutchtown, East Ascension and St. Amant all finished the regular season with a .500 record or better, and all three squads reached the playoffs.

As a result, the All-District 5-5A basketball team was filled top to bottom with Ascension products. In fact, nine area standouts made the squad.

Leading the way with the most selections was East Ascension. The Spartans placed four players on the team.

East Ascension had another extremely productive season.

The Spartans finished the year with a 16-10 overall record. That included a district championship run.

East Ascension made the playoffs as a No. 14 seed. This allowed the Spartans to host a first-round game against 19th-seeded Hahnville.

East Ascension won that game by a final score of 61-52. That marked the seventh straight season in which the Spartans have won at least one postseason contest.

The victory pushed East Ascension through to the second round. It was there that the Spartans fell to third-seeded Ruston, 55-50.

Senior point guard Keith Thomas was named the District 5-5A MVP. Guard N’Derius Walker was one of the players named Defensive MVP.

Also, Darnell Lee was named the district’s Coach of the Year.

Lee, who is also the East Ascension head football coach and athletic director, began the year as an assistant for the Spartan basketball team. But following the departure of head coach Tyler Turner midway through the season, Lee took over and led the squad to its playoff run.

Other first-team selections for East Ascension were Troy Dunn and Jacorey Mitchell.

There were three St. Amant players that made first-team All-District 5-5A.

The Gators finished the season with a 20-12 overall record. That allowed them to reach the playoffs as the No. 24 seed.

In the first round, St. Amant had to visit ninth-seeded Destrehan. The Gators fell in that matchup by a final score of 74-61.

St. Amant forward Jah’leel Ester was named the district’s Defensive MVP, along with Walker. This came despite Ester having to miss some time this season due to injuries he sustained following a car accident.

Also making the first team for the Gators were junior guard Letavian Crockett and senior forward Trace Forbes. Forbes recently signed with Millsaps College.

The Dutchtown Griffins made a return to the playoffs this season. It was their first postseason appearance in three years.

Dutchtown finished the regular season with a 14-14 record and entered the playoffs as the No. 30 seed. 

That set up a first-round matched against third-seeded Ruston. The Griffins’ journey ended there with a 57-44 defeat. Ruston went on to reach the state quarterfinals, before getting upset by 11th-seeded Northshore, the eventual Class 5A state runner-up.

Two Griffins were named to the All-District 5-5A first team. They were guards Stephen Aguillard and Brian Norris.