Nearly 40 teams from across Central Louisiana earned berths Monday into the LHSAA girls basketball playoffs.
A total of 37 area programs received berths, with Pickering from Class 2A being the lone team to earn a No. 1 seed. An area-high nine teams earned playoff berths from Class 2A and Class B.
A team accustomed to earning top seeds in recent years has been eight-time defending Class B champion the Fairview Lady Panthers. For the first time since the LHSAA went to power rankings, Fairview (35-5) failed to earn the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the bracket.
No. 3 Fairview hosts No. 30 Forest at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
“That is just where we fell,” longtime Fairview coach Kyle Jinks said. “Whether I like it or not that there is where we are at. You just have to go out and play. We got a good shot to win it again.”
Another team that has a shot of making a deep playoff run is Pineville.
The Lady Rebels are coming off a Class 5A quarterfinal appearance a year ago, which included an overtime upset of top seed Ouachita. No. 9 Pineville (21-9) hosts No. 24 Chalmette on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Coach Tiffany Edmonson returns five of the seven rotation players from that squad and is confident that her Lady Rebels are ready to play.
“As we hit February the level of intensity picked up in practice and games,” Edmonson said. “They know what the playoffs are all about and how to prepare for them.”
When the season began, Rapides coach Shane Henderson was hopeful that his young team would earn a seed somewhere in the 20s. The Lady Mustangs, who reached the second round last season, were going to be starting three eighth-graders. On Monday, his team earned the No. 10 seed in the Class 2A bracket.
Rapides (19-9) hosts No. 23 Winnfield on Thursday at 6 p.m.
“We’ve been telling them all year that the basketball doesn’t know what grade you’re in,” Henderson said. “We have not allowed them to use that excuse from day one and to their credit they haven’t.”
CENLA PLAYOFF SEEDINGS
No. 26 Scotlandville at No. 7 Natchitoches Central
No. 24 Chalmette at No. 9 Pineville
No. 27 ASH at No. 6 Sulphur
No. 21 Assumption at No. 12 Peabody
No. 17 Wossman at No. 16 Grant
No. 18 Leesville at No. 15 Loyola Prep
No. 31 Abbeyville at No. 2 Ville Platte
No. 25 Rayville at No. 8 Marksville
No. 26 Jena at No. 7 Albany
No. 32 Oakdale at No. 1 Pickering
No. 23 Winnfield at No. 10 Rapides
No. 20 Northeast at No. 13 Mamou
No. 18 Holy Savior Menard at No. 15 Sterlington
No. 19 Ferriday at No. 14 Episcopal
No. 24 Rosepine at No. 9 Red River
No. 29 Lakeview at No. 4 Redemptorist
No. 26 Ascension Episcopal at No. 7 St.Mary’s
No. 21 Montgomery at No. 12 Gueydan
No. 22 Sacred Heart-VP at No. 11 Madison Prep
No. 28 Block at No. 5 Merryville
No. 30 Forest at No. 3 Fairview
No. 21 Simpson at No. 12 Hornbeck
No. 17 Pitkin at No. 16 Glenmora
No. 19 Hicks at No. 14 Negreet
No. 20 Avoyelles Charter at No. 13 Simsboro
No. 28 Grace Christian at No. 7 Anacoco
No. 20 Georgetown at No. 13 Johnson Bayou
No. 23 St. Joseph’s-Plaucheville at No. 10 Starks
Byes: No. 3 Atlanta, No. 4 Plainview, No. 7 Calvin, No. 8 Elizabeth