Dutchtown Griffins basketball strives for mental toughness

Coach: Patrick Hill (16th season)

Last season: Lost in first round of playoffs to Ruston

Top players lost: Neal Caldwell, Devin Jackson and Bryan Allen

Coach Patrick Hill has been the head basketball coach of the Dutchtown Griffins since the school’s doors opened, and he really likes the determination of his 2017-18 team.

“I am extremely proud of the mental toughness of this team. The players have put us in position to win every game,” Hill said.

When asked about top players the season, Hill didn’t hesitate to mention his eight-man rotation.

“Gary Smith Jr., Ryan Brumfield, Jordan Jackson, Nicholas Caldwell, Tylen Wilson, Bryant Parker, Derrick Youngblood, Drelon Monroe and Troy Thomas Jr. have all played well for us,” he said.

The Griffins are looking to improve in a couple of areas as the playoffs are two weeks away. “Cutting down on turning the ball over and executing more efficiently in the second quarter are things we need to improve on,“ the coach said.

The Griffins have played a difficult predistrict schedule, which included one of the area’s better teams in Walker. The district is always solid, and that's certainly the case again this season.

“Our district has good players, great coaching, and the games have been very competitive,” Hill said.

The Griffins are currently 1-2 in district with two remaining games.

“We have two tough games remaining in district with Catholic and Broadmoor; (it) comes down to staying mentally tough and executing,” Hill said.

That mental toughness is a trademark of the Griffin program and should carry them as the playoffs loom. Stay tuned.

Ascension Parish hoops power rankings as of Feb. 5

BOYS

5-5A

St. Amant, 13

East Ascension, 4

Dutchtown, 18

10-3A

Donaldsonville, 19

6-1A

Ascension Catholic, 17

Ascension Christian, 21

GIRLS

5-5A

East Ascension, 13

St. Amant, 25

Dutchtown, 24

10-3A

Donaldsonville, 21

6-1A

Ascension Christian, 11

Ascension Catholic, 20

Troy LeBoeuf covers sports for the Ascension Advocate. He can be reached at troyleboeuf@hotmail.com or ascension@theadvocate.com or on Twitter @Troyleboeuf.