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Posted On: 01/6/18 2:58 PM
While Wildcard Saturday is kicking off today in the NFL, north Louisiana is having “Championship Saturday” on the basketball court. Two tournament titles will be decided today in Monroe and Bossier City. Teams jockeying for playoff positions will be looking to make a statement with a strong non-district win. That means these games should be of high quality and hotly contested. Adding a championship title to the trophy case will also be an added bonus for today’s winners.
Last night’s semifinals action
There were four big time semifinal games in Monroe and Bossier last night. All four games could have implications down the road in 5A through 3A. We will recap what happened and preview what will happen today.
Don Redden Memorial Final – Rayville (2A #1) vs East Ascension (5A #9)
It is not often that the Lions lose at home. As a matter of fact, they do not often lose in their tournament. That being said, East Ascension held Ouachita to their lowest point total of the season with stingy defense in their victory against the Lions in the Madhouse on Redden. Sophomore guard Hober Grayson led East Ascension offensively with six three pointers.
Rayville was pushed to the brink by the Wildcats. Wossman led the majority of the game until senior Rashad Naylor’s shooting sparked the Hornets to take a late lead they never relinquished. 6’4″ senior Darrell Comanche (19 points) led the upset bid by Wossman who gave Rayville their most contested game of the season. On a team with the top rated junior in the state, sometimes a team needs their other players to step up and that is what happened. Rayville’s five seniors helped the Hornets remain undefeated.
East Ascension wins…… if they can get a similar defensive performance to the one they have displayed all tournament long. They held Neville to 38 points and Ouachita to 47. If they can keep the score low, they might knock off the Hornets.
Rayville wins…… if they speed up the East Ascension attack and get them in the open floor, their athleticism should take over. 2019 #1 player Myikel Wilson has two good assist games. If he has a big scoring night, then Rayville will take home their fourth tournament title of the season.
Bossier Invitational Final – Bossier (4A #4) vs Richwood (3A #16)
Richwood pulled out a competitive game against the Huntington Raiders. Huntington came out shooting the ball well from three led by Javarri Williams and Dajerious Jackson. Richwood countered the Raiders shooting with pressure and pounding the boards with their bigs Spivey (6’7″), Malone (6’7″), and Chisley (6’5″). Since football season, Richwood is greatly improved and will look to take this tournament title.
Bossier’s road to the finals was led by Jacoby “Doo-Doo” Decker and his 29 point performance. In a game of small, quick guards with D1 futures, Decker outshined Brian White (Northwestern State signee). White was frustrated by the longer defenders of Bossier and could not get going offensively. On defense, Natchitoches Central elected to play straight up man-to-man for most of the game and was burned by the Bossier guards. Bossier also dared perimeter players from Natchitoches to make shots. When they did not, Bossier grabbed almost every rebound.
Richwood wins….. if they pound the boards with their superior height. This will go a long way to securing victory. Even though Bossier has 6’7″ sophomore Dante Bell, Richwood can rotate bigs to battle with him. (If) Rebounding goes the Rams way, they will come out with the championship victory.
Bossier wins….. if Jacoby Decker controls the game. Bossier will look to get him the ball early an often. If Jacoby Decker controls the offense, Bossier plays better. When he plays off the ball, Bossier’s offense struggles.
Both championship games will be proceeded by high profile third place and/or consolation games. Ouachita will play Wossman (in Monroe) while Huntington will face off against Natchitoches Central (Bossier). All games will showcase players that should play on the next level or will be on coaches radar going into the rest of the recruiting season. Whether a fan or a coach, tonight’s action in north Louisiana will be top notch.