When the 2017 LHSAA boys’ playoffs tipoff Friday around the state Northwest Louisiana will be well-represented, especially in Class 4A where three teams have a legitimate shot at ending up in Lake Charles with 48 teams vying for 12 state titles.
Bossier, Woodlawn and Fair Park, seeded 2, 4 and 5 respectively, could bring home some hardware back north if the battles they endured in District 1-4A have hardened them to the rigors of the postseason.
The Bearkats are the defending state champs and the title remains theirs until someone mans-up and knocks them off. Coach Jeremiah Williams knows what his talented team must do if they want to repeat
“We have to continue to play unselfishly on both ends of the court. That’s making the right play and sharing the ball offensively and maintaining our defensive integrity with regard to our positional assignments,” Williams said. “Our bigger players have to play big. We need them to finish high percentage shots (on the first try and through contact) and we need them to be ball hawks on the defensive glass.”
Despite winning the district, the Indians were seeded lower than their two counterparts. But coach Eddie Hamilton’s club, which plays at 6 p.m., will be a tough out for whichever team faces it, especially on Greenwood Road.
“For us, it’s the same as usual. We depend on every part. We share the basketball on offense, we defend and we try to rebound the ball as a unit,” Hamilton said. “If there are matchups we like, we go after them. We know that we had to depend on each other to give us the best chance each night.”
Woodlawn and Bossier will both tip Friday at 7 p.m.
The local 5A contingent will have a tougher time with District 1-5A champ Airline falling 60-51 on Thursday on the road at Slidell. No. 29 Southwood goes No. 4 Chalmette Friday hoping to pull off the big upset. Playing in Select’s Division I, No. 7 Byrd will hook up with district rival Evangel Tuesday at Byrd in the second round.
Loyola in Division II will host Ben Franklin Monday at 6 p.m.
Madison Prep drew the top seed in Class 2A and should capture the title, although No. 6 North Caddo, No. 4 Many, No. 14 Red River and No. 15 Jonesboro-Hodge might have something to say about it.
A highlighted game in Class 1A has Plain Dealing and Homer meeting Friday night. Sicily Island drew the top seed in that class, but Lincoln Prep is No. 2 and defending champ Arcadia is No. 7. North Louisiana teams Zwolle and Summerfield are the top seeds in Classes B and C respectively.
List of all area boys playoff games:
25-Dutchtown at 8-Ruston
29-Southwood at 4-Chalmette, 6:30
30-Thibodaux at 3-Natchitoches, 7 p.m.
28-Neville at 5-Fair Park, 6 p.m.
0-Huntington at 13-Abbeville, 7 p.m.
29-Breaux Bridge at 4-Woodlawn, 7 p.m.
31-West Ouachita at 2-Bossier, 7 p.m.
28-Mansfield at 5-Madison
24-Lakeside at 9-Welsh, 6:30
21-Springfield at 12-Lakeview, 7 p.m.
27-Oakddale at 6-North Caddo, 6 p.m.
29-General Trass at 4-Many
25-Ringgold at 8-Centerville
21-Merryville at 12-Haynesville, 7 p.m.
20-Logansport at 13-Grand Lake
22-Homer at 11-Plain Dealing, 7 p.m.
26-Basile at 7-Arcadia, 6 p.m.
25-Converse at 8-Anacoco
28-Stanley at 5-Glenmora
19-Doyline at 14-Choudrant, 6:30
26-Lacassine at 7-Negreet
20-Hornbeck at 13-Bell City
22-Forest at 11-Quitman
27-Holden at 6-Simsboro
18-Fairview at 15-Castor
24-Downsville at 9-Saline
21-Hackberry at 12-Pleasant Hill
20-Evans at 13-Dodson
9-Ben Franklin at 8-Loyola
18-Catholic-PC at 15-Cedar Creek, 6 p.m.