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Posted On: 12/19/17 1:41 PM
There were some great basketball contest involving north Louisiana teams last Tuesday through Saturday. If the season continues like this, there will be some hot and heavy competition going into district play. With that said, I will recap some of the my observations from those five days of high school basketball in north Louisiana.
1) Jacoby Decker has to have the ball
In the Tuesday night tilt between Bossier and Ouachita, there seemed to be a way to contain point guard dynamo Jacoby Decker. Simply deny, deny, deny!!
As the second half played out, Ouachita used smaller guards Paul King and Rjay Hill to stick with Decker full court. This required other Bossier guards to become the primary playmakers. The results was a sputtering offense. Bossier guards were able to penetrate and hit mid-range jumpers. They were also able to catch Decker coming off screens from creative out of bounds plays. On the flip side, getting back on defense became an issue. Ouachita had several transition opportunities that resulted in free throws or layups. Bossier will need to sure that up going forward.
2) Northwood- Shreveport is better than projected
Northwood athletics has had a pretty good year so far. Their football team made a run to the state quarterfinals in 4A. Now, adding some of those same athletes, coach Ronnie Howell and his Falcons have won five of their last seven games. They beat a tough Division 3 Calvary Baptist team, class 5A Captain Shreve, and others before losing to Union Parish in the finals of the Minden Holiday Classic. A 4-1 week is good for any team. Wing players like seniors Malik Wilson and Cole Monroe have helped to stablize the offense and raised the team’s defensive intensity. They will need a great defensive effort in 1-4A as they will play five of the top 32 4A teams in their own district.
3) The Southwood Cowboys aren’t far away
The Cowboys has a rough couple of days at the Madison Prep tournament in Baton Rouge. They had a lead on Jehovah-Jireh late in Thursday’s 1st round game before losing and lost to McKinley in the consolation bracket on Friday. Even though they lost those games, they were only a bounce or two away from possibly playing in the late rounds in the winner’s bracket. Senior Letreavin Black played solidly as usual. Senior Yancey Kelly has to pick up his play. As a three year varsity player, he has to be more consistent on the offensive end. What can put the Cowboys on solid footing is the play of Kameron Davis. He has to be a dominate presence on both ends. When that happens, the sky is the limit for this team.
4) Jalen Brooks (pictured above) is the real deal
I do not know how this senior escaped being rated as one of the top players in the state (he’s a projected signee at Arkansas); however, he definitely showed why during the Madison Prep tournament. He has shooting range, he is active on the boards, he plays help defense, and he runs the floor. For a player a shade under 175, that is plenty. Brooks three point ability was on full display against Crescent City and Riverside Academy. At one point against Crescent City, he seemingly scored every point during a 3rd quarter run. If he keeps up his stellar play, he will be a dark horse for being Louisiana’s most outstanding player. He is that good!!
5) Woodlawn-Shreveport is REALLY good
There are some thing that you know are true. However, when you see them in person, you say WOW! That is how I felt watching Woodlawn at the Madison Prep tournament. On Thursday, they beat a top 10, 5A team in Walker during the 1st round. In their quarterfinal game against Crescent City, they turned their level of play up a notch. The 6’4″ senior tandem of Jalen Brooks and Chase White scored continuously, blocked almost every shot, and secured every defensive rebound. When Crescent City tried playing full court defense, Tra’Michael Moton carved up the pressure defense and found his wings for layups, open jumpers, or scored himself. They put tons of pressure on a team’s defense by their constant offensive pressure. 4A teams better be aware. Woodlawn is outstanding!