Dutchtown escapes Tigers' second-half charge

Kyle Riviere
Dutchtown's Leonard Scott goes for an acrobatic lay-in against Denham Springs. He followed it up with a 16-point effort against Donaldsonville. Photo by Dewey Keller.

Donaldsonville outscored Dutchtown 17-4 in the third quarter of their game last Tuesday night. But fortunately for the Griffins, they played well enough in the other three quarters to collect a hard-fought 59-45 win over a scrappy and athletic Tiger squad.

"One thing about these guys, they're gonna work hard, and they're gonna work hard for 32 minutes," Dutchtown head coach Patrick Hill said. "They don't always do what you ask them to do but then again, I don't know a team that does."

The No. 11 Griffins were doing what their coach asked early on as they used tenacious defense and six points from Leonard Scott to take a 13-4 first-quarter lead.

Donaldsonville had their chances to match the Griffins, but they couldn't buy a bucket. They missed countless looks right under the goal, and Dutchtown capitalized.

Scott nailed a 3-pointer to start the second quarter. It gave the Griffins their biggest lead of the game at 16.

Scott continued to lead the charge as he piled up 12 first-half points, and Christian Thompson sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Dutchtown a 35-17 halftime lead.

The game was on the verge of turning into a laugher, but Donaldsonville quickly ended any hints of a blowout in the third.

The Tigers went on a furious rally--scoring the first 13 points of the half to cut the Griffin lead to five.

Donaldsonville's two football stars, Leandre James and Jaquel Wade, quickly showed that they could get it done on the hardwood as well.

Grant was the catalyst of an opportunistic defensive effort as Donaldsonville forced Dutchtown into several turnovers. Grant had two steals of his own and after hitting a big shot, he cut the Griffin lead to three.

Overall, the Tigers outscored Dutchtown 17-4 in the quarter and only trailed 39-34 heading into the fourth.

There, the Griffins finally regained their composure, and Nick Whalen hit a clutch 3-pointer to put his team up by six.

That's when Tevin Thompson took over. He scored all 10 of his points in the second half, and his two steals late all but wrapped up the 59-45 win for Dutchtown.

The Griffins were happy with the win that takes them to 13-3, but their third-quarter woes were a concern for Hill.

"That's our biggest adversary right now, getting a lead and maintaining a lead," Hill said. "We were able to fight back and muster a win but regardless of who you play, when they have their backs against the wall, I don't know of any team that's not going to be resilient and come back."

James led all Donaldsonville scorers in their comeback attempt as he put up 14, and Grant followed close behind with 11 of his own.

The Griffins were led by Scott's 16 and Patrick Thompson's 12.

Squandering big leads has become a disturbing trend for Dutchtown in the past week. They blew a 15-point lead and lost to Walker in the District 5A Challenge and the next day, they had an 11-point lead against Central but had to fight a late Wildcat charge to win by three.

Hill is alarmed but at the same time, he's confident his team can fix the problem.

"It may be a little bit of a mental thing, but I'll keep taking these results as long as we keep winning," Hill said. "It's something we'll just have to work on in the next few weeks and try to simulate some situations like that at practice."