Inclement weather north and east of Ruston threw a wrench into the Bossier Invitational basketball tournament Friday, while giving a couple of teams new life.
Bossier coach Jeremiah Williams received a call Friday morning saying that since schools were closed in Union and Ouachita parishes, after school activities were canceled. That meant that Union Parish High school, which was supposed to play the Bearkats, and Richwood, which was supposed to play Fair Park, had to drop out of the winner’s bracket.
“Fortunately coaches Keith Johnson (Red River) and LeAndre Gipson (BTW) agreed to come back and play,” Williams said. “I think they were happy to get a second chance.”
That was certainly true for the Bulldogs, despite falling 67-41 to the defending LHSAA Class 4A state champions in the tournament quarterfinals.
“Hey, we had a chance to come back into the winner’s bracket and play for the championship. Who wouldn’t take that?” Johnson queried. “But we’ve been without our big man (Jessie Davis) for a couple of games and it’s making it tough on our guys to compete.”
The tournament semifinals will launch at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Bossier gym with the Bearkats playing the Carencro-Ruston winner followed by Huntington meeting the Fair Park-BTW winner at 12:30. The championship tilt is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Friday’s game was a rough and rugged affair with some rowdy play, including a standoff between players at the final buzzer that was ruled by cooler heads. There were also a couple of technical fouls along with a ball intentionally rolled off an opponents’ head that the officials didn’t see.
“Red River got a second chance and they made the most of it by playing hard,” Williams said. “Their defense caused us some problems early, but we were able to space the floor and get some shots to fall down.”
It didn’t hurt the Bearkats’ chances at a win when they knocked down four 3-pointers including two apiece from Tybrien Wimberly and Tyrese English, in the first quarter. That sparked Bossier to a 19-10 first quarter advantage they never relinquished.
The Bulldogs (9-9) pulled within 33-22 on a bucket by Tank McDonald to open the second half, but the Bearkats responded with two additional 3-pointers from Wimberly and English in a 12-0 run that pretty much finished off the visitors.
Wimberly led the way with 20 points, while English chipped in with 14. Christopher Moore scored 14 for Red River.
Huntington 74, NCHS 70: At Elm Grove, in perhaps the upset of the Bossier Tournament, the Raiders knocked off Class 5A’s No. 2 team in the LHSAA power ratings behind four double figure scorers. Gaybriel Gilliam led the way with 26 points, while Trevic Atkins added 17, Tahj Davis 15 and T.J. Maiden 10 for coach Mack Jones’ club, ranked No. 25 in the 4A power ratings.
LSU-signee Brandon Rachal poured in a game-high 34 points in a losing cause, while Brian White added 21 for the Chiefs (16-3).
Benton 64, Green Oaks 44: At Bossier, Jessie Little’s 18 points were the difference for the Tigers in the elimination game. Jalen Harding added 11 points for Benton, while Clayton Robinson topped the Giants with 13.
Northwood 69, New Living Word 61: At Elm Grove, the Falcons held off a late rally by the Lions thanks to 17 points from JaMichael Bryant, 12 from DeTraveon Brown and 11 from Keith English.
Airline 77, Parkway 64: At Airline, K.J. Bilbo scrored 21 points, Trent Ivy 17, T.J. Robinson 13 and Fred Lemons 10 to lead the Vikings to the District 1-5A victory. Kameron Davis poured in 25 points for the Panthers.
Southwood 55, Captain Shreve 46: The Lady Cowboys picked up a key District 1-5A win outscoring the Lady Gators 21-12 in the third quarter. Ah’million Cosby scored 14 points and Keagan Summage added 11 for Southwood. Dezyre Black topped Shreve with 16 points.
Airline 43, Parkway 31: At Airline, the Lady Vikings won the low-scoring District 1-5A contest that didn’t have a double-figure scorer.
Destrehan 80, NCHS 58: At the All-State Sugar Bowl Tournament in New Orleans, the Lady Chiefs lost despite 16 points from Katherine Rachal, 14 from Jada Duncantell and 13 from Kierra Brimzy.