In the last high school basketball game of the year, the Bossier Bearkats had a lot of avenging, or revenging, on their plates Friday night in the boys’ championship game of the 2016 WK “Doc” Edwards Invitational at the Centenary Gold Dome.
With their 56-42 victory against cross-town rival Airline, the Bearkats avenged a loss earlier this season to the Vikings. They also avenged a loss in last year’s “Doc” Edwards final to Fair Park. The Bearkats dispatched the Indians in the semifinals Thursday night.
Bossier did it with the rough and tumble, multi-faceted onslaught of talent that carried them to the LHSAA Class 4A state title last spring. With an inside-out game that’s hard for teams to match, the Bearkats started slow, but finished in high style to capture perhaps the most prestigious tournament title of the season.
“We hit some shots in the second half, after not shooting well in the first half. And when your shots fall, you start playing better defense,” Bossier coach Jeremiah Williams said. “Their player (Trent) Ivy got in foul trouble and had to sit out, which allowed us to get a little run.”
Sophomore Jacoby Decker, named the tournament MVP after scoring 15 points in the title game, was all over the court in the second half, almost willing his team to the victory.
“Jacoby is a phenomenal point guard who makes it hard for people to adjust to his speed,” Williams said. “He’s maturing into a complete ball player.”
The Vikings had the momentum going into halftime with two late buckets to take a 19-18 lead. But Ivy going to the bench limited their ability to content with Bossier’s reach in the third quarter.
“That was a momentum swing for them,” Airline coach Chris White said. “But we were very pleased to be back in the finals and I like the way our guys are playing together. This is our first time in the finals since 2012 when we lost to Huntington.”
The game was tied at 27 midway through the third quarter before the Bearkats closed the frame with an 11-3 run that put them up by 10 points to open the fourth quarter. Airline cut the deficit to 42-36 with 6 minutes to play, but a 3-pointer by Tyrese English kept the Vikings from getting closer. Decker scored six points in the quarter.
“We started executing like coach said and started playing better defense,” Decker said. “Doing what we do best – just play. Going to the rack early in my tempo helped me execute better.”
The all-tournament team included Airline’s K.J. Bilbo and Ivy, along with Tybrien Wimberly, Decker and English from Bossier.