The road to Hammond begins

The road to Hammond begins

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The road to Hammond begins

Captain Shreve's Aaliyah Stevenson drives against Evangel's Danielle Bryant in a recent game. Both Shreve and Evangel have hopes of deep playoff runs.

Captain Shreve’s Aaliyah Stevenson drives against Evangel’s Danielle Bryant in a recent game. Both Shreve and Evangel have hopes of deep playoff runs.

Not every girls basketball team in Louisiana will win a state championship.

It just seems that way.

For the first time, 12 girls basketball teams will be crowned state champions as the sport splits into select and non-select brackets. Champions will be determined in Classes 5A through C and Divisions I through V.

The road to Hammond and Marsh Madness begins on Thursday night with teams having state title dreams.

Class 5A

Team to watch: Barbe. Bucs are the top seed at 26-1 and should have smooth sailing to Hammond.

Keep an eye on: Destrehan. The state’s only unbeaten Class 5A team, Destrehan (28-0) will try to keep its dream season alive.

Sleepers: Ouachita is the sixth-seed after going 28-4 and winning District 2-5A. Captain Shreve made history with its first District 1-5A title and will have the rare home playoff opener.

Class 4A

Team to watch: Loranger. The Wolves are the top seed and have lost only once this season — 70-68 to No. 9 seed Salmen.

Keep an eye on: Salmen. Salmen could meet Loranger in the quarterfinals and with a win over the top seed during the regular season, the Spartans don’t figure to be intimidated.

Sleepers: Huntington, the No. 7 seed, went 20-5 and won the traditionally strong District 1-4A. Neville went 20-8 in earning the No. 6 seed.

Class 3A

Team to watch: Winnfield. The Tigers may be the No. 3 seed, but they are rolling on a 20-game winning streak coming into the playoffs.

Keep an eye on: South Beauregard. The Knights are the No. 1 seed at 30-3, but they stumbled twice in January. It will be interesting to see if this is the Knights team of November and December or the late January one.

Sleepers: Albany. The record (19-14) is deceiving because of strength of schedule. Albany is the No. 6 seed and the tough schedule could pay off.

Class 2A

Team to watch: North Caddo. The Rebels (23-7) have won the last three Class 2A titles. They are seeded third season and if they can make it to Hammond, they’ll be a dangerous team to face.

Keep an eye on: Rapides. The top seed in the Class 2A bracket, the Mustangs begin the playoffs on a 15-game winning streak.

Sleepers: Rayville. The Hornets (20-8) are riding a 10-game winning streak going into the playoffs.

Class 1A

Team to watch: Arcadia. The Hornets are the defending state champion and rolled to the top seed.

Keep an eye on: Merryville. The Panthers are the No. 2 seed after a 24-win season. They bring a modest four-game winning streak into the playoffs.

Sleepers: Delhi. The Bears are the No. 5 seed after going 26-5 during the regular season. They have won their last 15 games so this should be a confident team heading into the postseason.

Class B

Team to watch: Florien. The Black Cats are the top seed at 37-2 and have a championship lineage.

Keep an eye on: Fairview. The No. 2 seed carries an eight-game winning streak into the tournament.

Sleepers: Holden. The fourth-seeded Rockets lost by a single point to Class 4A No. 1 seed Loranger earlier in the year.

Class C

Team to watch: Summerfield. The defending state champions enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed and a favorite to repeat.

Keep an eye on: Singer. Only an eight seed, Singer is riding a six-game winning streak and its five losses are the fewest among Class C teams.

Sleepers: Atlanta. The Lady Bulldogs are seeded third but own a win over Summerfield.

Division I

Team to watch: John Curtis. The Patriots are the top seed and have a double bye into the quarterfinals. They’ll need just three wins to take the crown.

Keep an eye on: Evangel. The Eagles are the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 Scotlandville in the quarterfinals. Although they sputtered at the end, the Eagles are worth watching.

Sleepers: Archbishop Chapelle. The Chipmunks have an ordinary record (15-14) and are the fifth seed and will have to face fourth-seeded Dominican in the quarterfinals. Although Chapelle has lost twice to Dominican, one loss was by two points.

Division II

Team to watch: Parkview Baptist. The Eagles are the top seed at 25-4 and have lost just once in the 2017 portion of the schedule.

Keep an eye on: St. Thomas More. The Cougars are 22-3 and carry a 14-game winning streak into the postseason.

Sleepers: E.D. White. The Cardinals have the fewest losses among Division II teams with just one loss. E.D. White is on a 13-game winning streak.

Division III

Team to watch: Northlake Christian. The Wolverines are the top seed in Division III with a 20-4 record.

Keep an eye on: St. Thomas Aquinas. The No. 3-seeded Falcons have won four of their last five games.

Sleepers: Christian Life. Crusaders were 19-7 and played in a competitive district.

Division IV

Team to watch: Houma Christian. Top-seeded Warriors have won 10 consecutive games going into the playoffs.

Keep an eye on: Southern Lab. The Kittens are 23-5 and the No. 4 seed. They could be a dangerous team.

Sleepers: Cedar Creek. The Cougars are the sixth seed but have played some tough competition close in recent weeks.

Division V

Team to watch: New Living Word. The Lions are 20-13 and the top seed in Division V.

Keep an eye on: Claiborne Christian. The Crusaders have won three of their last four games.

Sleepers: None. Four of the eight teams in the field have won less than 10 games.

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