Patterson head basketball coach Ryan Taylor may have schemed in the past how to stop Central Catholic’s Dontrell Brown when Taylor’s Lumberjacks faced Brown’s Eagles, but this weekend, they will join forces as they try to help the West Squad beat the East Squad in the Louisiana High School Coaches’ Association All-Star game Saturday at Centenary College in Shreveport.
Taylor, who has led the Patterson basketball program to multiple Class 3A quarterfinals appearances in recent years and a regional round finish in this year’s playoffs, will serve as an assistant coach to head coach Todd Russ of New Iberia.
Taylor said he is looking forward to working with Brown as well as the other players.
“I am looking forward to working with Dontrell,” he said. “It will be good for me to not have to worry about somebody blocking him out every shot. That is going to be the other team’s problem. He is a very talented player and has had a great career at Central Catholic. He deserves to be on the team.”
Brown comes into the contest after earning District 8-1A MVP honors. The 6-foot, 3-inch standout averaged district per-game averages of 22.5 points and 8.5 rebounds.
He said because Taylor is familiar with his play, he would be able to help put Brown in better situations where he can do well.
Brown is the second Central Catholic player in as many years to play in the All-Star game as former Central Catholic standout Lloyd Grogan played a year ago.
Central Catholic coach Ree Case said he was pretty sure Grogan and Brown are the only Eagles in school history to play in this all-star game.
Brown said he has been asking Grogan about what the all-star game is like.
“I feel it’s a big privilege to play in the game,” Brown said. “I’m really excited about it.”
Taylor also said the chance to coach in the all-star game is a meaningful one for him.
“To be selected for this great event by your peers is an honor. … It is a direct reflection of the success and consistency of the (Patterson) program,” he said. “I feel blessed to be asked and look forward to this experience.”
For both Taylor and Brown, this weekend will give them the opportunity to be on the same side of those they have played against this season.
“We have some very talented guys, and it is going to be fun watching them compete,” Taylor said.
Patterson played New Iberia this year, who also is represented by Dillon Mandeville, while Brown and Central Catholic played Comeaux, Vandebilt Catholic and White Castle this year. Comeaux is represented by Haywar Register and Julian Thomas, Vandebilt Catholic by Lionheart Leslie and White Castle by DeAndre Bellock.
“It’s guys he’s been playing against all year. … All these guys are All-Stars, so they’re the best players in their class so you’re talking about the best players from every class,” Case said.
Brown said he is “honored” to play with athletes he faced during the season.
Case agreed it’s an honor for Brown and the school to have the opportunity to play in this game, noting that Brown was selected by other coaches across the state.
“It’s an honor for him. It’s also an honor for the school and a testament of how far the basketball program has come,” Case said. “He’s been a really good player … and it’s kind of a culmination of all four years. He’s been all-district the last three years and this year he was district MVP. It’s a great honor for him.”
Additional reporting by www.nola.com