The Allstate Sugar Bowl/Louisiana High School Athletic Association Girls’ Marsh Madness state basketball tournament will have a new venue this year.
Unlike previous years at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, the tournament has moved farther north to the Rapides Coliseum in Alexandria on Feb. 26 through March 3.
Will the Bayou Region have any teams make it that far to compete for state titles this season?
I think we have a good shot.
In case you’ve missed out so far, we have several good girls basketball teams in our area.
Ten out of 13 local teams in our newspaper’s coverage area qualified for the playoffs this season, including Thibodaux in Class 5A, South Lafourche, Ellender, South Terrebonne and Assumption in Class 4A, St. James in Class 3A, Vandebilt Catholic and E.D. White Catholic in Division II and Houma Christian and Covenant Christian in Division IV.
I know the LHSAA’s decision to split the state playoffs into select/nonselect brackets may have watered things down a bit, but no one can hold it against the players from all local teams for doing everything they could to make it this far by clinching postseason spots.
Every local team will get a chance to make a postseason run in their respective bracket. That’s all you can ask for during this time of year.
The first-round of the state playoffs will begin on Thursday, so it’s time to go to work.
I wish all local teams best of luck as they shoot for a chance to win a state title. Sometimes you never know what will happen in the state playoffs. I’ve seen underdog teams get hot in the playoffs and make a deep run.
When looking at the playoff brackets, I think the Bayou Region’s best shot at bringing home state titles will come in Class 4A and Division IV.
In Class 4A, we have two local teams ranked in the Top 10 with No. 2 South Lafourche and No. 6 Ellender.
The two rivals fought for the District 7-4A title this year. Ellender defeated South Lafourche, 59-51, on Jan. 27 to take crown of the district title.
Both the Lady Patriots and the Lady Tarpons are loaded with great coaching and talent.
Ellender, who is led by longtime coach Kenneth Dixon and players such as Terris McKay, Orieon James and Marghan Frierson, won last year’s Class 4A state title for the fifth time in school history, while South Lafourche, who is led by coach Rainie Terrebonne and players Traya Bruce and Victorianna Nelson, is still gunning for its first.
If both teams go on a run in the playoffs this season, they would meet up in the Class 4A semifinals with the winner moving on to the state championship game.
It’s a shame both teams are stuck on the same side of the bracket. I truly believe both teams have what it takes to win it all. I would have loved to see them match up in the Class 4A state finals, but I believe a showdown in the state semis would be just as good.
In Division IV, Houma Christian is the No. 2 seed and will have a first-round bye to open the playoffs.
The Lady Warriors got to the Division IV state finals last year but lost to Lafayette Christian. We all know how great the Lady Knights are with coach Errol Rogers and standout Megan Abrams.
If both teams take care of business in the playoffs, I think there’s a good chance we’ll see a rematch between the top two teams in the Division IV state finals.
Houma Christian, which is led by first-year coach Kathy Luke and players Kourtne Lee, Xariel Washington, Breanna Harding and Dalesia Williams, finished the season at 26-2 overall. They ended the regular season on a 16-game win streak.
Houma Christian hired Luke with hopes of taking the program to the next level by winning their first-ever state title. Luke won it all at Vandebilt in 2010, and she will get a chance to do it at Houma Christian this year.
The Lady Warriors have waited for a shot a redemption in the state finals since last season ended. I can’t wait to watch them battle it out for a chance at history.
Staff writer Chris Singleton can be reached at 857-2213 or 448-1200 ext. 2213 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @courierchris.