Early-season district races are rounding into shape, and Friday’s slate of games carry a heavy weight in the standings.
The following are games with impact on the district races.
District 1-5A: Byrd (20-2, 2-0) at Captain Shreve (9-8, 1-1) — How will the Gators respond to its first district loss in more than two seasons? We’ll find out when they take on district favorite Byrd (No. 2 in the LHSAA Class 5A unofficial power rankings), who has won its first two games by a combined 47 points. Southwood knocked No. 26 Captain Shreve off, and a young No. 25 Cowboys (13-8, 2-0) team will have to deal with success at an Airline (6-14, 0-2) bunch that is more dangerous than its record. The No. 47 Vikings have lost its district games by a combined 10 points to Byrd and Parkway.
District 1-4A: Huntington (16-2, 3-0) at Fair Park (12-9, 3-0) — This is the only matchup of undefeated district teams in the city. Huntington is supposed to be there as the Raiders come in at No. 8 in the latest LHSAA Class 4A power ratings. A hot No. 29 Fair Park team knocked off Minden 76-63 on the road to cement their status as one of the district’s best. The No. 19 Crimson Tide (14-6, 2-1) head to No. 27 Loyola (15-7, 2-1) in another key district game.
District 1-3A: Bossier (15-7, 2-0) at Green Oaks (7-13, 1-1) — Green Oaks is 4-1 at home, including a near upset of Huntington, so nothing is for sure in what might be the best homecourt advantage in the city. No. 4 Bossier extended its district winning streak to 52 with two wins this season. North Webster (16-7, 2-0) will try to keep pace as the No. 15 Knights head to BTW (6-9, 0-2).
District 1-2A: Lakeview (16-4, 2-0) at Homer (10-11, 1-2) — Lakeview has rolled through this district so far, but a trip to Homer could be tricky if the Pelicans can overcome their recent struggles. The Gators are a comfortable No. 2 in the Class 2A power ratings while No. 11 Homer’s tough schedule is keeping it in the top 10. North Caddo (5-15, 2-1) is a surprising second in the district so far and heads to Red River (5-13, 1-1). Maybe it’s too early to say knockout hame in the playoff race, but it’s a win that both the No. 36 Rebels and No. 42 Bulldogs need to make the 32-team field.
District 1-1A: Plain Dealing (13-6, 2-1) at Arcadia (18-2, 3-0) — Arcadia can really put themselves in this district’s driver seat with a win after already knocking off Grambling Lab (2-1 in district play) 38-35. The Hornets, who are No. 1 in the latest Class 1A power ratings, can slug it out with a defensive-minded team like Plain Dealing in a low-scoring game. For the No. 7 Lions, a win is the only way to stay in the district race after losing to Grambling Lab.
District 1-B: Doyline (12-11, 2-1) at Dodson (20-10, 2-1) — Weston (22-6, 4-0) appears to be running away with this district, but this game is important for second place or perhaps a share of the title should either beat Weston in the second half of district play.
District 3-B: Negreet (8-17, 1-2) at Florien (32-3, 3-0) — Florien has already beaten the top challenger Zwolle 68-59 this past week, so they’re just trying not to stumble until they meet Zwolle again. Florien is the top-ranked team in Class B and has the most wins of anybody in the state.