Gators have dominant showing against Griffins

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The St. Amant Gators continued to roll on Friday night as they went to Dutchtown and dominated in the paint.

Forwards Destin Barker and Tyrone Johnson did everything. They blocked shots, they pulled down rebounds and they scored, too. In fact, the duo accounted for 40 of the Gators’ 58 points in a 58-36 victory.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team in general,” St. Amant head coach Travis Uzee said. “They’re just so positive, and they’re having fun playing together. That’s something that has evolved this season. We’ve played some younger guys in certain spots, and the seniors are demanding that they play well. The seniors are taking this game over. We’re gonna ride or die with however they go. As a coaching staff, we prepare them, and then let them do it.”

Each team got off to a sluggish start offensively, but the Gators began picking up steam toward the end of the first quarter as Barker scored seven straight points to give them an 11-4 lead.

St. Amant led, 13-6, heading to the second, after Kenyon Hebert made a layup at the buzzer.

Hebert then began the second period with another layup, following a Gator steal. It gave them the biggest lead of the game at 11. That advantage carried over to halftime as they led, 23-12.

St. Amant was able to pull away in the third quarter.

Johnson began the second half with two straight buckets to push the lead to 15. Barker then completed a three-point play to push the advantage to 18.

They headed into the fourth quarter leading 42-24.

Dutchtown’s Brian Norris hit a 3-pointer to begin the final period, trimming the deficit to 15, but that’s as close as the Griffins would get.

Barker finished an alley-oop to push the lead back to 19, and on the Gators’ next possession, Johnson threw down a thunderous dunk to make the lead 21.

From there, St. Amant rolled to the 58-36 win.

No one scored in double-figures for Dutchtown. Norris led the way with eight. Ryan Bromfield, Christopher Rodney and Januery Marte all scored six.

As for St. Amant, their offensive production was dominated by Barker and Johnson. Barker scored a game-high 24, while Johnson poured in 16.

“They’ve been playing really well in the last month,” Uzee said. “This team has a really unselfish approach. They don’t care about scoring; they care about winning. When we have advantages inside, they throw it inside. Destin and Tyrone are easy kids to pull for because they’re really good kids—on and off of the court.”

The win was the sixth in St. Amant’s previous seven games. The one loss was a 73-63 defeat to East Ascension in which the Gators held a lead in the fourth quarter.

The victory against Dutchtown improved their overall record to 17-7.

“Our district is tough. We’re playing EA and Dutchtown again, as well as Woodlawn and McKinley. Catholic High is gonna be tough. We also play U-High and Ascension Catholic,” Uzee said. “It’s a tough home stretch, but we’re playing good basketball, so I like where we are. When you have kids that put winning above everything else, then you have a good recipe, and you give yourself a chance to win every night.”