DHS hoops ride 4-game win streak into district

Staff Writer
Donaldsonville Chief
DHS senior forward Jaquel Gant (left) and junior forward Stephen Sullivan (right) celebrate after a play in the win against St. James last week.

The DHS boys’ basketball team (14-6) goes into district 9-3A play on a four-game winning streak that was capped by a 55-52 home win over long time rivals in the St. James Wildcats. The St. James win served as just the kick of confidence the Tigers will likely need as the real season kicks off.

Like always though, St. James showed up in Donaldsonville last week ready to cripple the Tigers. However, junior guard Braxton Bernard had other intentions as he led DHS with 17 points.

“We were really off tune tonight, but we fought together and were able to come back together as on,” Bernard said. “We showed a lot of resilience in tough times tonight and we were able to get a big win against one of our biggest rivals.”

The Tigers came out real slowly against the Wildcats and only held a four-point halftime advantage at 28-24.

In the second half, St. James came out quickly and threatened to take the lead and command of the game. However, Bernard’s surrounding cast of Stephen Sullivan, Jaquel Gant, and Tyler Brown helped the Tigers fight off the charging Wildcats.

“It feels good to be able to get this win and use it to help us get ready for district,” Bernard said.

The game went down to the wire as Bernard and Sullivan missed key free throws in the last minute of the game to secure the win. St. James had a chance to tie the game, down only three but was able to convert due to a late block by Sullivan.

Head coach Lionel Gilbert said it wasn’t a pretty win, but that’s “just one of those things with the backyard rivalry.”

“A lot of these kids are related and when it’s a rivalry you can throw out the X’s and the O’s and it becomes about whoever can settle down emotionally and not get caught up in the hype would be the team to come out on top,” Gilbert said.

“We stayed poised enough not to hurt ourselves too bad. I’m glad it’s over and we get to move on to district,” Gilbert said, first year head coach at DHS.

A late defensive effort saved the Tigers, while Brown finished the game with 11 points, Sullivan with 10 and Gant added 8 points.

After the game, the two teams joined hands in prayer to show sportsmanship and comradery.

“We just did that to be an example for our communities and show guys that even though we compete against each other on the floor, once the game is over we’ll still one big community and trying to spread our love to one another,” Gilbert said. “That’s all it’s about giving Glory to God and helping these young men understand what’s important. We’re trying to shape and mold them into good citizens as well.”

The Tigers will play at Patterson on Friday night, and will return home on Tuesday to host Berwick. Tip off for both games set for 6 p.m.