Now the debate begins.
There are a plethora of good men’s basketball programs in Central Louisiana and we will try to rank them as the regular season goes on with the Cenla’s Top Ten. Every Tuesday, the boys rankings will come out — a day after the girls rankings are released.
So without further ado…
1. Peabody (4-0): The Warhorses have moved down to Class 3A, but they still have a loaded team that can compete against the best in Louisiana. Peabody’s backcourt of senior Jacoby Ross and junior Cedric Russell are averaging a combined 43 points per game, while junior forward Kevin Norman is providing a post presence. The Warhorses host Pineville Tuesday, before going to New Orleans for two games. THIS WEEK: vs. Pineville (Tues.), at John Ehret (Thurs.), at Edna Karr (Sat.)
2. Natchitoches Central (2-1): The Chiefs lost Cameron Lard to Landry-Walker and Danny Cohen to graduation, but the talent is still there as they hope to make the Class 5A title game for the third year in a row. Junior combo guard Brandon Rachal averaged 17 points and six rebounds in the City of Lights Tournament, while Austin Guy picked up a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) in the finale against Tioga. THIS WEEK: at Leesville (Tues.), vs. Red River (Thurs.).
3. Tioga (3-1): Nov. 25’s matchup with NCHS had all the makings of March basketball despite a 63-47 loss to close the City of Lights tournament. However, the Indians picked up two wins in Natchitoches, including a 60-55 win against Bossier. Tioga has an experienced roster this season with Caleb Hebert and De’Mon Ford, while it can make a run for the district title as Peabody and Leesville moved due to reclassification. THIS WEEK: at Avoyelles (Mon.)
4. Leesville (4-1): The Wampus Cats were undefeated before a trip to Fair Park changed that, but have quality wins against Northwood and Rapides after beating them in the Rapides Tournament. Leesville will have a many key games over the next couple of weeks, including taking on NCHS twice, Northwood and Bossier. THIS WEEK: vs. NCHS (Tues.), at Mansfield (Fri.).
5. Northwood (4-1): With their only blemish being a 68-64 defeat to Leesville at the Rapides Tournament, the Gators managed to get a win against Rapides and Menard to go 2-1 overall. Rhode Island commit Mike Layssard anchors Northwood as its center, while Darryl Jackson is its floor general and can control the outside game. THIS WEEK: at Stanley (Thurs.)
6. Rapides (2-2): The Mustangs had close losses to Northwood and Leesville in their tournament, but lit up the scoreboard against Jena and Glenmora — scoring at least 85 points in both games. Rapides gets the Wildcats again in the Glenmora Tournament and will take on Atlanta in the tournament as well. THIS WEEK: Glenmora tournament (Dec. 2-4).
7. Lakeview (3-2): The Gators are trying to return to the Class 2A title game for the third straight year and have a win over defending Class B champion Anacoco to their name and also took on a pair of Texas teams in the Battle of the Boot tournament. Lakeview will look to dominate teams inside with a pair of 6-foot-8 forwards in Cameron Pottain and Arkansas signee Adrio Bailey. THIS WEEK: vs. Evangel (Tues.), Hamilton Christian tournament (Dec. 3-5).
8. ASH (1-2): The Trojans played a trio of Texas teams in the San Antonio Christian tournament to kick off the season — defeating Burbank in the process. ASH added 6-foot-6 power forward Connor Grigg, who transferred from Northwood, and will look to pair him up with LSUA signee Chris Lewis. THIS WEEK: vs. Avoyelles Charter (Tues.), Teurlings Catholic tournament (Dec. 2-5).
9. Pineville (3-1): The jury is still out on the Rebels, but so far they have defeated two 2015 LHSAA playoff participants in Marksville and Menard, while defeating Avoyelles. 6-foot-7 senior power forward Jacob Vines mans the middle, while Pineville gets a good test at the Emerald Palace when they take on the Warhorses Tuesday. THIS WEEK: at Peabody (Tues.).
10. Avoyelles (5-2): The Mustangs have charged out of the gate after defeating their parish rivals — Bunkie and Marksville — three times to start the year. Avoyelles had a big test against Tioga Monday as it looked to extend its four-game winning streak. THIS WEEK: vs Tioga (Mon.)
Gafford’s 11th: Many (0-0): The Tigers have yet to play and do not play this week, but they have made the Class 2A quarterfinals in back-to-back years. Many has junior guard Tabarius Garner returning as it hopes to compete in a deep District 3-2A that features Rapides, Pickering and Rosepine. THIS WEEK: idle.