DHS boys’ hoops rolling, win six straight

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley
Donaldsonville High’s junior guard Braxton Bernard flushes home a two-handed dunk in the win against Amite last week.

Braxton Bernard and the Donaldsonville High boys’ basketball team are on pace to repeat, not better, last season’s Top-28 finish. The Tigers (8-3) started the season slow, but as of late have opened a six-game win streak and are rolling with full steam.

Bernard said after the win against Amite last week the team is younger than last year but can definitely make another run for the state title.

“I just want to get everybody involved and everybody used to playing,” Bernard said, who’s leading the Tigers in scoring this season. “We have a lot of young guys on the team so I want to share the ball and get them involved.”

“I have a good feeling about us going back to the Top-28 this year,” he said.

Repeating similar success looked impossible at the beginning of the year, especially after head coach Barry Whittington took off for the same job at East Ascension High. However, the Tigers move to a different voice this year – one they’re responding to quite well. In his first season, Lionel Gilbert so far is still learning the players and they’re still learning him, but the connection is being groomed well.

Gilbert said the team is finally growing up, referring to the recent success. The Tigers roster currently no active seniors after senior guard Jeremy Jones went down with a knee injury in the first game of the season.

“We’re getting more consistent and figuring out who we are and who the guys are, where’s their best fit, what style of offense best fits us,” Gilbert said. “We’ve been through so many changes here lately and it’s just a learning process.”

With Bernard leading the way, Gilbert has found confidence in a group of sophomores who are bringing a lot of athleticism and skill to the court. Sophomores Jacoby Smith, Devon Johnson and Terry Holmes have complimented Bernard well so far this season.

“They are some young guys, but the great thing about it is they’re starting to not only blend in but contribute,” Gilbert said. “Now they’re on the floor and we aren’t so much worried about them hurting, but now they’re in position to where they are helping us. That’s always a good thing.”

In the middle of a six-game win streak just before district starts, Bernard said the team’s goal is to win 14-straight but they’re taking it one game at a time.

The Tigers will next play at home against Assumption on Jan. 6. Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m.