Griffins earn tournament win over Yellow Jackets

Kyle Riviere
Guard Troy Thomas scored 12 points in Dutchtown's 50-37 win over Denham Springs. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

The Dutchtown Griffins made it further than any other parish basketball team last year as they reached the state quarterfinals. It was their first quarterfinal appearance in five seasons.

However, in the offseason, the Griffins lost their two leading scorers to graduation. Both Nick Caldwell and Gary Smith were first-team all-district performers.

Their loss has been felt early in the season as a young Dutchtown squad has had to try to adjust without the consistent scoring of Caldwell and Smith.

The Griffins went 1-1 prior to the John "Hot Rod" Williams Gold Dome Classic, and they suffered a crushing, 75-50, defeat to Broadmoor in the opener of the tournament.

But Dutchtown was able to respond and earn themselves a double-digit victory on Friday night.. The Griffins led Denham Springs from the start, and in the second half, they pulled away from the Yellow Jackets to clinch a 50-37 win.

Early on, Ryan Bromfield converted an and-one play to give the Griffins a 9-5 lead. The team then fed off of Derrick Youngblood as he scored eight points in the opening quarter.

It gave Dutchtown a 15-13 advantage heading into the second.

There, the Griffins created a little separation. Youngblood nailed a transition 3-pointer to push the lead to five, and Troy Thomas added a trey of his own to push the advantage to eight.

But Denham Springs answered. The Yellow Jackets went on an 8-0 run to tie the game.

With the score knotted up and the first half ticking away, Thomas drilled a jumper at the buzzer to give Dutchtown a 27-25 advantage at the break.

In the third quarter, the Griffins were finally able to pull away.

Youngblood began the scoring for Dutchtown as he drove the baseline and converted a basket to push the lead to six. Thomas then drilled another 3-pointer to give the Griffins a 40-31 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

The Griffins kept it up in the final period. Bromfield scored down low to give Dutchtown their biggest lead of the game at 13.

The Griffins were able to maintain that advantage all the way until the end. They pulled off the 50-37 victory.

Leading the way for Dutchtown was Youngblood, a 6-foot-4 junior guard. He scored a game-high 15 points.

Behind him were two senior guards in Thomas and Bromfield. Thomas scored 12, and Bromfield was close behind with 11 points of his own.

Brian Norris and Christopher Rodney each scored four for Dutchtown in the win.

In defeat, Denham Springs was led by CJ Johnson, who scored 12 points.