DUTCHTOWN — Archbishop Rummel used smart shot selection and physical defense to turn back Dutchtown High 50-39 in first round Class 5A boys basketball playoff action Tuesday night.
The 22nd-seeded Raiders (22-11) got 11 points from Cethan Carter and 10 from Dwayne Eugene as they kept No. 11 Dutchtown at arm’s length the entire second half.
Dutchtown (22-8) was hosting its first boys playoff game, but found the going tough, especially near the basket.
“We had a good game plan. We tried to take them out of what they do,” Rummel coach Troy Holley said. “All year defense has been our go-to.
“We knew if we forced them to take enough outside shots that we could eventually contain them and come out on top.”
Leonard Scott, who led Dutchtown with 12 points, hit two of the Griffins’ five first-half 3-pointers as Rummel only led 25-23 at the halftime. The outside shots quit falling after the break, and Dutchtown trailed the entire second half.
“I’m proud of my guys, and I’ll take them any day,” Dutchtown coach Patrick Hill said. “Those guys (Rummel) won a state championship in football so they’ve got that pedigree, and they’re physical.
“We knew they weren’t a true 22 seed. We didn’t go into this blind. Being an 11 seed is the best we’ve ever had here, and I can’t be prouder of my guys.”
Rummel opened up the largest first-half lead by either team early in the second quarter. Leading 17-16, the Raiders scored six straight points to take a 23-16 lead.
Darnell Jones, Carter and Eugene each scored at close range to fuel the burst. Dutchtown battled back to within two points thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from the left corner by Scott.
Dutchtown only trailed 25-23 at halftime, despite giving up 10 turnovers. Rummel made 10 of its first 13 shots from the floor but finished the half hitting 1 of its last 9.
“We took the right shots,” Holley said. “We took a few threes, but they were good threes. We’re big and strong, and we’ve got some really smart kids. We’re very fortunate to have the competitors that we have on our team.”
Rummel stretched its halftime lead to 31-25 three minutes into the third quarter when Steven Dunbar scored on a fastbreak, and Eugene hit two free throws. Henre Toliver hit a jumper, and then scored inside as the lead grew to 37-27.
Dutchtown cut the deficit to 37-32 entering the fourth quarter, when both teams went cold from the floor. Scott hit a pair of free throws, and Tevin Thompson hit a scoop shot in the lane pulling the Griffins within 40-36 with 3:28 to go.
Rummel responded with a 9-1 run to put the game out of reach. Keith Fulton sparked the run with a baseline drive and added two free throws as Rummel led 49-37 with 37 seconds left to play.
Rummel made 8 of 13 free throws in the final two minutes to hold off Dutchtown.
The lead seesawed in the first quarter when there were four lead changes. Rummel made 6 of 9 from the floor, but needed a pair of late baskets to grab the lead after one.
Trailing 12-10, Carter tied the score when he followed Jones’ miss with a basket. After Patrick Thompson missed twice on Dutchtown’s end, Caleb Burks hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left in the quarter giving Rummel a 15-12 lead.
Rummel made its first four field goal attempts in the second quarter, and never trailed again.
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