Posted On: 11/30/17 11:50 AM
The New Orleans Metro area has two big tournaments this weekend including the Sophie B. Wright tournament and the annual CYO Tournament. The Wright Tournament begins tonight (November 30) at Wright and McMain with the championship game to be played Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at SUNO. Here’s a look at what to watch for and what to expect during this series of games.
Newman (3-1) vs. Crescent City (5-3), 4 p.m.
Salmen (4-1) vs. McDonogh 35 (3-2), 5:30 p.m.
Country Day (0-1) vs. Cohen (2-3), 7 p.m.
Wright (4-0) vs. St. Augustine (3-2), 8:30 p.m.
West Jefferson (1-2) vs. Ben Franklin (1-7), 4 p.m.
Bonnabel (4-1) vs. Riverside (0-0), 5:30 p.m.
KIPP B.T. Washington (5-2) vs. Helen Cox (5-0), 7 p.m.
St. Thomas More (2-3) vs. Lake Area (1-7), 8:30 p.m.
Bottom Bracket (Salmen vs. McDonogh 35/Country Day vs. Cohen | Wright vs. St. Augustine/Bonnabel vs. Riverside)
Wright is going to be a top contender this season for a state championship in Class 3A and I would give them a slight edge to emerge from this side of the bracket. It’s certainly not a given, though, as coach Jason Bertrand has his team on the strong side of the bracket.
St. Augustine is a gritty, well-coached team that will always put up a fight but the Warriors are a more talented group led by 2019 trio Damiree “D.J.” Burns, Charlie Russell and Greg Hammond.
Their opponent in the second round is a toss up as Riverside recently replaced Belaire, and now the Rebels will suit up against Bonnabel. That pits two of the state’s top point guards against one another in Alabama signee Jared Butler and top 2018 PG T.J. Collins.
The Bruins are off to an impressive 4-1 start including a split against Crescent City and wins over Destrehan, Warren Easton and KIPP Booker T. Washington. Riverside on the other hand just got its football players back and will play its first game of the season. Butler could carry the Rebels to a win but Bonnabel should be in a better rhythm, and for that reason I’d give them the edge in this matchup.
Wright vs. the Bruins should be another heavy-hitter but I’ll stick with the Warriors facing the winner of the 1st Round matchup between Salmen and McDonogh 35 in the semifinals. The Spartans have a couple of strong wins over Slidell and Northshore and it wouldn’t shock me if they knocked off McDonogh 35, which just defeated St. Augustine 60-58 (10 Best/Video).
Country Day is also on the top half of the bottom bracket and they should be a force as the season progresses. I think they’ll get past Cohen to start but won’t be in enough of a rhythm in the next round with the majority of their team just returning from the football field. The Cajuns lost their opener against Helen Cox, 44-41, on Tuesday (Nov. 28).
Top Bracket (West Jefferson vs. Ben Franklin, Crescent City vs. Newman | St. Thomas More vs. Lake Area, KIPP Booker T. Washington vs. Helen Cox)
Crescent City is the favorite on this side of the bracket but their 1st-Round matchup against Newman should be an interesting one with Newman G Riley Demps capable of having big nights. The Pioneers should also get past West Jefferson, which shouldn’t have too much trouble with Ben Franklin in the opening round.
St. Thomas More is a big favorite against Lake Area and Helen Cox is off to a 5-0 start with a few quality wins over St. Augustine, West Jefferson, East St. John and Country Day. I think they’ll keep that up against a budding B.T. Washington team and will eventually face Crescent City in the semifinals.
Championship pick: Wright vs. Crescent City, Sunday, 5:30 p.m. at SUNO
Wright has taken care of business in every game so far this season with convincing wins over Phoenix (94-31), Franklinton (60-45), Slidell (67-44) and Northshore (75-57). Crescent City actually got off to an 0-2 start with losses to Grace Christian (83-81) and Jehovah-Jireh (80-72) but have rebounded to go 4-1 over their last five with wins over McDonogh 35 (82-67) and Bonnabel (64-61).
Both of these teams go 8 or 9 deep but Wright’s size and top-end talent should get them over the hump. I see the Warriors grinding out a win here in what should be a fun game to see.
Here’s a look at Wright in the McDonogh 35 jamboree vs. St. Augustine, plus a couple of other early-season matchups including McDonogh 35 vs. St. Augustine and West Jefferson vs. Karr.