Dutchtown trying to finish the season strong despite struggles

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Head coach Patrick Hill and his Griffins will try to end the season on a high note. Photo by DKMoon Photography.

It's been a tough year for Dutchtown, but they're certainly not going to give up any time soon. They may not be making a trip to the playoffs, but they're determined to finish strong.

The Griffins have a senior-laden team that has had to face challenges ever since the start of the season. They had to replace all five starters from last year, and their new starting five had little to no varsity experience entering the year.

Green or not, head coach Patrick Hill has enjoyed coaching the bunch.

"It's been very challenging but yet, it has been very enlightening to see these kids take that on, and they've taken it on quite well," Hill said. "They do the due diligence. It's a fun group to coach."

Dutchtown has played well in spots this season. They've had many close games; they just haven't been able to collect W's.

"It's the lack of experience. That's something I tell these guys all the time: one of the bad things about this season is that we only have one season to grow. We only have one season together," Hill said. "These guys have never played together their entire lives. I think it's because of that we haven't been able to close out some of these close games."

One of the biggest losses for the Griffins was forward Patrick Thompson. Without his size down low, Dutchtown has had trouble on the boards.

"Unfortunately, the ball hasn't dropped like we wanted to but one thing about these kids, they shoot the ball as good as last year's team, but they don't have room for error because we just don't have that one person that can get offensive boards when we need them," Hill said.

Deficiencies aside, Coach Hill wants his team to finish strong not just for district ramifications, but he wants to reward his seniors before they say goodbye.

"We're going to be young next year, so I'm not looking past, but I am looking toward the future. I just want these seniors to be able to enjoy the fruit of their hard work. They're not coming back next year; this is it for them," Hill said.

The Griffins have four games remaining, and the formula it will take for them to win those games is pretty simple as far as Coach Hill is concerned.

"I don't want us to turn the ball over as much. They can shoot it, but they won't have the chance to shoot it if they turn it over," Hill said. "They need to give themselves a chance to get looks at the basket. For the most part, they've been getting good looks, but I' hoping we can overcome the turnovers."