High school coaches usually know their opponent before playoff brackets are released to the public, but Monday’s scheduled release of the boys basketball bracket was anything but ordinary.
Arcadia coach Marcus Jackson knew his Hornets were the Class 1A No. 1 seed, but his opponent switched twice before the official brackets were released at about 3:50 p.m., almost three hours after the scheduled 1 p.m. release.
“We were preparing for St. Martin’s Episcopal when the power ratings came out Sunday,” Jackson said about first-round action starting Friday. “Then we got an email (from the LHSAA) around noon today saying there was a glitch in how the power ratings were calculated.
“I had notes on one team, and then we started preparing for Grand Lake. Now we’re switching back to St. Martin’s Episcopal.”
LHSAA Executive Director said a coach questioned the original rankings, which in turn led to the LHSAA questioning their own rankings.
“We got to questioning them ourselves, and we looked into it and redid them,” Henderson said. “But then we looked at it again and decided that the original rankings were correct.
“Ultimately we didn’t trust the computers and we should have. Nothing really changed.”
One coach said the glitch revolved around Class B and Class C schedules. The two non-football classes start play several weeks before football members, but those early games aren’t supposed to count in the official power rankings.
Those classes had minor adjustments to their power rankings, which also affected several Class 1A teams like Grambling Lab who played multiple B and C members.
With first-round opponents set, Jackson said the Hornets can get back to learning from their season-finale loss to No. 12 Plain Dealing, who hosts No. 21 Iberville.
Florien is the other local top seed, and the Class B members host No. 32 Saline, who was not in the playoffs in Sunday’s rankings.
Zwolle, the No. 7 seed, and No. 14 Doyline are the other local Class B home teams.
In Class 5A, No. 3 Byrd will face a 2013 top seed in Ouachita, who comes in at No. 30 this season.
“Ouachita has a history of being good, and there’s more parity in Class 5A than there is in the past,” said Byrd coach Rusty Johnson. “Parkway didn’t make the playoffs and Airline came on at the end, these are good teams who didn’t make it.
“Every team will catch our attention … but our players do know Ouachita’s name and most were at the state championship game last season (a Ouachita loss).”
Other Class 5A playoff teams include No. 2 Natchitoches Central, No. 12 Ruston, No. 17 Captain Shreve and No. 27 Southwood.
Huntington, the No. 7 seed, leads the local Class 4A pack and will host No. 26 Franklin Parish. The Raiders nearly missed a first round meeting with No. 25 Minden, who will head to No. 8 Salmen.
“We’ve got 10 seniors, so our ids know we can’t take anyone lightly,” said Huntington coach Mack Jones. “A team like Loyola almost won 20 games and didn’t make it in … so we’re fortunate to be in, and it doesn’t matter where you are.
“It’s about who is playing the best ball.”
Fair Park will travel to No. 14 Neville as a No. 19 seed.
Bossier gets yet another high ranking as the Class 3A No. 2 Bearkats host No. 31 De La Salle.
“It’s a reflection of the season we’ve had, and I’m proud of what we’ve done,” said Bossier coach Jeremiah Williams, who returned just one starter from a semifinals team. “But all it does is gets you into the bracket, where you might be in the best position to reach the championship.
“I know that De La Salle is a 20-win team, and that’s a tough first-round opponent.”
Other 3A locals include No. 17 North Webster and No. 26 Evangel.
No. 2 Lakeview leads a five-team group in Class 2A, which includes No. 10 Many, No. 17 Homer, No. 24 Calvary and No. 28 North Caddo,
Joining Arcadia and Plain Dealing in Class 1A are No. 7 Grambling, No. 23 Ringgold and No. 29 Haynesville.
All four Class C locals will host, including No. 5 Pleasant Hill, No. 6 Gibsland-Coleman, No. 8 Ebarb and No. 9 Summerfield.