Jones leads Tigers to third district win

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR
Jamal Jones breaks for a one-handed dunk in the 56-50 win against Brusly Friday night.

In head coach Barry Whittington’s pre-game speech, he told the DHS basketball team that they are playing at home and it’s about time for them to put on a show. They got the memo with a 56-50 win against the Brusly Panthers Friday night.

Midway through the third quarter, DHS’s Jaquel Gant forced a steal from Brusly’s Dimarro Jackson and raced to the other end for a two-handed dunk to put the Tigers (10-10, 3-1 district) up 32-31. From that point on, the momentum remained on the Tigers side. A couple possessions later, Braxton Bernard looked almost identical to Gant with another two-handed dunk from a fast break run. To put the icing on the cake, in the fourth quarter Jamal Jones rounded out the dunk fest for DHS with a one-handed rim rocker to open the Tigers lead to 42-35 in the over the Panthers.

“With their mindsets, they were trying to get some dunks so they could put on good show for the fans,” Whittington said.

Through much of the game, the two teams exchanged baskets with most of the Panthers coming from their senior guard Jackson, who finished with a game-high 31 points. In the fourth quarter, Jackson got hot and helped Brusly close a seven-point gap to tie the game at 44 with three minutes to play. But, no matter how relentless Jackson fought to be, the Tigers always had an answer. Led by Jones, who finished with at DHS team-high 17 points, the Tigers held on for the victory against a team who went deep into the playoffs last season.

“Playing a team like that, who had a lot of seniors and are well-coached,” Whittington said, “I knew that we had a good shot, but it wasn’t going to be an easy task.”

Whittington said he’s seen Brusly’s Jackson play, “which seems like forever now,” and that he’s gotten so much better in a year.

“I knew he (Jackson) was getting his buckets.”

But one man’s effort wasn’t enough to beat the Tigers whole team effort.

“It’s a step in a positive direction for us to get a win like this against a veteran team,” Whittington said. “We’re growing day-by-day. I’m going to enjoy this, but by the time I get home I’m going to already be thinking about St. James on Tuesday.”

The Tigers won their first two games in district play and then was halted by a Port Allen team who beat them 69-62. Against the Pelicans, DHS fell apart in the second half and couldn’t close out.

“In this game, we played better down the stretch, we got some timely baskets,” Whittington said. “In the game on Tuesday, we didn’t make shots that we should’ve made and we missed a lot of free throws.”

The Tigers have upcoming games at St. Charles Catholic on Jan. 25, at home on Jan. 26 against Redemptorist and away at E.D. White on Jan. 29.