Dutchtown gets back in win column after long layoff

Kyle Riviere
Nick Caldwell brings down a big dunk in Dutchtown's victory over Assumption. He finished with 18 points. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

After nearly two weeks, Dutchtown finally secured another victory.

The Griffins hadn’t won a game since last month, but then again, prior to their Wednesday night home matchup against Assumption, they hadn’t played since Dec. 22.

Their rust showed as they committed a bevy of turnovers throughout the game.

A scrappy Mustang squad took advantage of these mistakes and made many hard charges at the Griffins, but Dutchtown always had an answer. They took control in the second half and pulled out the 63-51 win.

“I was real pleased with our effort,” Griffin head coach Patrick Hill said. “Effort is one thing you can't coach, and they put forth the effort against an Assumption team that has been in every ball game that they've played. Their coach didn't stop coaching, so we had to keep playing. So, I was pleased with how we were able to respond with everything they threw at us."

Assumption had the advantage coming in, being that it was only five days since their last game. Dutchtown didn’t have that luxury.

The Griffins were supposed to play a game at Natchitoches Central on Dec. 29, but it fell through. So, their Wednesday night clash with the Mustangs was their first game in 13 days.

The long layoff certainly appeared to have an effect early.

Dutchtown turned the ball over in bunches, allowing Assumption to jump out to a 6-2 lead.

However, back-to-back 3-pointers by Jordan Jackson and Gary Smith gave the Griffins an 11-8 advantage.

To end the first quarter, Briant Parker pulled down an offensive rebound, converted a strong layup and then sank a free throw to complete a 16-5 run that gave Dutchtown an 18-11 lead heading into the second.

There, Assumption made their first big run of the night. Their 9-4 spurt cut the deficit to 2, but the Griffins finished the half with a 10-2 answer.

This was highlighted by 4 straight points by Nick Caldwell—including a jumper at the buzzer that gave Dutchtown a 34-25 lead at the break.

The Griffins started off hot in the second half.

Caldwell dunked over a defender, and Smith put together 6 straight points to give Dutchtown their biggest lead of the game at 16, but Assumption wouldn’t go away.

The Mustangs went on an 8-0 run that cut the lead to 46-38 heading into the fourth.

After going back up 15, Assumption answered again. Six straight points got them within 9, but that’s as close as they would get.

Ryan Brumfield came up with back-to-back baskets for the Griffins to push the lead to 13. They eventually held on to win by 12.

Coach Hill thought that a lot of his team’s sloppiness could be attributed to their prolonged break.

"We turned the ball over too much against the zone. Some of that may have had to do with the fact that we hadn't played since before the Christmas break,” Hill said. “So, hopefully, it was just a result of the rust from not playing. For them to be able to play like they played after that long layoff, that's real tough for the players, as well as the coaches."

Caldwell led all Griffin scorers with 18. Smith was next in line with 16, Brumfield scored 15 and Ty Wilson chipped in with 7.

The victory improved Dutchtown to 12-3 overall with the always challenging District 5-5A schedule just a week away.

"I'm good with where we are,” Hill said. “I’m quite sure the other coaches in our district can say the same thing. Even though EA lost against Scotlandville, they gave themselves a chance to win against a good opponent. McKinley played well in the EBR tournament, so did Broadmoor. Catholic and St. Amant are playing well, so it's all about who is going to be hitting at the right time. Right now, everybody is doing pretty well."