Dutchtown falls hard to Ellender at home

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Following up last season’s run to the state quarterfinals has proven to be an unenviable task for Dutchtown this season.

It certainly hasn’t been easy with the loss of Nick Caldwell and Gary Smith, the team’s top two leading scorers from 2018-19.

The Griffins began the year in a 2-4 hole, and they have never been able to recover. Their struggles continued last week as they played in their first action since Dec. 28.

On Wednesday, Dutchtown was rolled by Assumption, 68-51, at home. And on Friday night, visiting A.J. Ellender won in blowout fashion by a score of 66-49.

The game was close in the first quarter, but in the second, Ellender began the period with an 8-0 run that pushed their lead to 10 points. From there, they dominated.

Right from the beginning, the Griffins fell into a 5-0 hole. However, they did respond with an 11-4 run that was highlighted by a 3-pointer by Ryan Bromfield. It gave them an 11-10 lead. That ended up being their only lead of the game.

Ellender scored four of the next five points to take a 14-12 advantage into the second quarter.

To begin the period, Preston Bourda hit a 3-pointer that sparked an 8-0 spurt by Ellender that put them ahead, 22-12.

Tyshaun Hester then drained a trey to push the advantage to 11, and Bourda nailed another one to put Ellender ahead by 14.

In all, they outscored Dutchtown 20-10 in the quarter as they went into the half with a 34-22 lead.

In the second half, Ellender’s 6-foot-8 forward Dionjahe Thomas began to take over. Two straight buckets by him gave his team their biggest lead of the game at 16.

It looked like the Griffins had a glimmer of hope toward the end of the period. A layup by Peyton Loving cut the deficit to 12, but Ellender answered back and extended their advantage to 48-34 heading to the fourth.

There, Thomas scored two more times down low to push the lead to 18.

Dutchtown had opportunities to make things more interesting. With the lead cut down to 14, Ellender got sloppy with the ball and went a long stretch without scoring.

However, Dutchtown missed easy layups, and throughout the game, they shot poorly from the free-throw line.

In the end, Ellender cruised to the 66-49 victory.

In the win, Ellender had four players score in double figures. Thomas and Nykee Niyori Johnson, Jr. each had 16. Hester followed with 15, and Bourda chipped in with 11.

As for Dutchtown, they were led by Troy Thomas as he scored 19. The only other double-figure scorer was Bromfield with 11.

Brian Norris and Cameron Hunter each scored four.

The loss was Dutchtown’s fourth in their last five games as it dropped their overall record to 6-11.

The Griffins will hit the road on Jan. 14 to face Denham Springs. They faced the Yellow Jackets back on Dec. 6, and won going away, 50-37.

On Friday, Dutchtown will face district and parish rival East Ascension at home.