DUTCHTOWN — The recent conclusion of St. Amant’s football season has started to impact the Gators’ basketball campaign in a positive way.
Even with a short-handed lineup of just eight players, St. Amant won its first three games — a trend that continued Thursday with the help of improved depth.
Football standout K.J. Franklin scored a team-high 19 points and former starting guard Richard Donaldson came off the bench to give St. Amant a big lift in a 72-56 victory over Terrebonne in the Gold Dome Classic.
Donaldson and Jahnoi Daley each scored 15 to help St. Amant (5-0), which faces Airline at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
“Our team has a lot of great players, and we’re trying to find roles when you add new kids to the mix,” St. Amant coach Travis Uzee said.
Dutchtown (4-1) overcame a one-point halftime deficit and rode the hot hands of Gary Smith and Nicholas Caldwell to an 84-79 triumph over H.L. Bourgeois.
“Offensively, we were able to match their level of intensity,” said Dutchtown coach Patrick Hill, whose team meets Hammond at 5:30 p.m. Friday. “That’s the best team we’ve faced in this short season.”
ST. AMANT 72, TERREBONNE 56: Terrebonne’s zone defense slowed St. Amant for a quarter, limiting the Gators to 4 of 17 shooting without any 3-pointers in five attempts.
Donaldson helped the Gators draw the Tigers out of their zone, unloading a trio of 3-pointers and wound up with 14 points during an impressive 2½-minute stretch in which they turned a one-point deficit into a 24-16 advantage.
“Rich’s role may have changed a little bit,” Uzee said. “I wasn’t worried because he wants to win and wants our team to be successful.”
The 3-point shot, which St. Amant made 10 of 22, turned into a bigger weapon in the second half where Franklin made five of his six 3-pointers, including one from the corner for a 55-38 lead with 1:30 left in the third quarter.
St. Amant, which limited Terrebonne to 31 percent shooting and 5 of 18 behind the arc, took its biggest lead of 58-38 with 7:53 remaining on another 3-pointer from the corner by Franklin.
DUTCHTOWN 84, H.L. BOURGEOIS 79: There were eight first-half lead changes when HLB (2-4) led 38-37 at halftime.
Caldwell, a 6-foot-5 junior, quickly gave Dutchtown the lead for good with a 17-foot pull-up and a slam dunk — the first of three dunks — for a 41-38 lead a minute into the third quarter.
The Griffins outscored the Braves 25-16 in the quarter and were 10 of 18 from the field, including closing baskets from Smith and Troy Thomas to make it 62-54.
Dutchtown shot 53 percent (31 of 59) overall and opened as much as a 69-56 lead on an 11-2 run that Jordan Jackson capped with a driving layup.
HLB didn’t fold, and, behind a game-high 36 points of Nicholls State commitment Anthony Rainey Jr., closed to within four points (81-77) on Rainey’s 3-pointer — the team’s 11th of the game — with 22 seconds left.
Rainey scored 21 of his team’s 25 points in the final quarter. Divine Martin added 19 and Deondre Buggage had 13.
“I told my guys at halftime that’s the type of game we needed to have: win or lose,” Hill said.