BASKETBALL

Dutchtown's losing skid continues against undefeated Port Allen

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Cameron Burke and Dutchtown have gotten off to a 1-8 start so far this season.
Photo by Dewey Keller.

Searching for their second win, Dutchtown played undefeated Port Allen well in the first half just to see the Pelicans feast on their turnovers and start the second half on a 12-0 run.

The surge put the game out of reach and helped Port Allen salt away yet another win by the score of 62-43.

"They're undefeated for a reason. They have spurtability for lack of a better word," Dutchtown head coach Patrick Hill said. "We knew they were going to have their spurts. The question was if we were going to be able to keep it within distance to give ourselves a chance at the end, and we didn't do that. We had some untimely turnovers, but we played hard."

The Griffins had gotten off to a rough start prior to their entry in the weekend's tournament at East Iberville High.

Dutchtown lost four of their five starters from last year's team and their one returning senior--Christon Thompson--transferred to Madison Prep.

The revamped Griffin squad's inexperience has hurt them. They got off to a 1-5 start and then lost to Dunham to open the East Iberville tournament.

On Friday night, they were faced with the tall task of matching up with undefeated Port Allen. Early on, they held their own.

The first quarter went back and forth, but the domination of Northwestern State signee Ishmael Lane down low gave the Pelicans a 17-15 lead. He scored Port Allen's first 10 points and had 12 for the quarter.

Ross Hill hit a jumper right before the buzzer, but Dutchtown could not keep the momentum going in the second quarter. They failed to convert on many opportunities right under the basket.

Wade Lamotte came off of the bench and gave the Griffins four points, but Port Allen was able to take a 28-25 lead into the break on the strength of three second-quarter 3-pointers.

Nipping on the heels of the Pelicans, the bottom fell out for Dutchtown.

Port Allen's suffocating defense began to create plenty of Griffin turnovers, and the Pelicans converted most of them into easy transition points.

By the time the flurry was stopped, Port Allen had gone on a back-breaking 12-0 run and extended their lead to 15.

"Both teams turned it over, but we can't afford to turn it over. Both teams got good looks at the basket, but our shots have to go in," Hill said. "It was still a well-played game; I enjoyed the game. I would have loved if the results were different, but we can't afford to turn it over. We don't have that guy you can just dump it inside to for looks at the basket and offensive boards."

Josh Crockett tried to keep the Griffins in it. He hit three third-quarter 3-pointers, but Port Allen still led 46-34 heading into the fourth.

The closest Dutchtown was able to get it was 10 but once again, turnovers and easy transition points hampered the Griffins. Port Allen was able to jump out to their biggest lead at 19--a lead they were able to keep.

Lane led the game with 19 points. As for Dutchtown, Ross Hill was the leader with 13, and Crockett made four 3-pointers to end the game with 12.

The loss put Dutchtown in unfamiliar territory at 1-7. Coach Hill thinks his team's best chance to turn things around is if they can cut down on the costly mistakes.

"We just can't afford to turn it over. That's one thing we have to improve on," Hill said. "How do you do that? I don't know. I don't know how you teach that in practice. You're not going to stop turning it over because you're told not to turn it over. One day, we may emerge and not turn it over as much but right now, we're 1-7 for a reason."