Griffins put away stubborn Northshore squad
Dutchtown’s one-two punch of Gary Smith and Southeastern signee Nick Caldwell was as good as advertised on Friday night when they hosted Northshore.
Caldwell went off in the first half. Northshore was able to contain him in the final 16 minutes, but Smith was there to pick up the slack.
The two combined for 39 points in what became a 61-57 victory.
“We were able to sustain the lead. Just like any game, we knew they would make a push,” Griffin head coach Patrick Hill said. “That was a good opponent to play against. They ran sets; they can shoot it. They do everything well. We expected that from what we saw on the film and from when we played them last year. We knew they would be a good 5A opponent for us this early in the year.”
Dutchtown was fresh off of a 20-point victory over Woodlawn the night before at the Gold Dome Classic. They showed no signs of slowing down early on against Northshore.
Caldwell started off hot as he completed an and-one play and then added a transition layup to give the Griffins a 9-0 start.
With the game looking like it was headed to Blowout City, the Panthers responded with an 11-3 run that got them within one point.
However, in the waning moments of the first quarter, Caldwell drilled a transition pull-up 3-pointer that extended the Dutchtown lead to 19-13 after one.
Caldwell continued to score in bunches to begin the second quarter.
He sent home a thunderous dunk and then came up with a put-back under the rim to push the Dutchtown lead to 10. Troy Thomas drained a jumper that put the advantage to 11.
But Northshore was stubborn. Every time the game looked like it was ready to get away from them, they made a run to stay within striking distance.
The Panthers were able to get within 31-26 at the half.
After being limited to just three points in the first 16 minutes, Smith went to work to begin the third quarter. He made two quick buckets to put the Griffins up seven.
Derrick Youngblood then nailed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the quarter to give Dutchtown a 46-39 lead heading to the fourth.
Northshore began the final quarter with a 7-0 run to tie the game, but Youngblood again supplied a huge 3-pointer to regain the lead for the Griffins.
Youngblood later hit another to put Dutchtown up six, and with Northshore trying to chip away at the lead, he hit two big free throws that put the game out of reach.
Dutchtown was able to ice away the 61-57 victory.
Caldwell led all scorers with 23 points. Smith scored 13 in the second half to finish with 16 for the game.
The Griffins hit seven 3-pointers. Youngblood hit four of those. He finished with 14 for the game.
“That’s one thing we can do: We can shoot the basketball,” Hill said. “All of those guys can knock down shots on any given night if they get their feet set and shoot in rhythm with the offense. At the end of the day, we just want to get a good look at the basket, and that’s what we did. For the most part, I’m pleased with our shot selection.”
The victory improved Dutchtown to a perfect 3-0 to start the year.
“Our season is early. This is only our third game, so for them to be able to play the way they’re playing right now, I’m pleased,” Hill said. “The summertime is really coming into play right now. We had a great summer league, and it’s not taking us as long to come together and play as a team.”