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Posted On: 02/23/18 5:30 AM
1) Westgate vs. 32) West Ouachita
I have really been impressed by Westgate all season long, especially their play on the defensive side of the ball. They can pressure the ball full court, and their guard play has been outstanding. Their defense is anchored by Keith Lopez, who is one of the top rim protectors and rebounders of the 2019 class. Westgate was just one game from the state championship last season, and I think this might be the year they get over the hump.
PHLA Pick: Westgate
16) Plaquimine vs. 17) Ellender
Last year, the team that was able to get the win over Westgate to play in the state championship was Ellender. Now the Patriots have lost a lot of talent from last year’s squad, but there are still pieces of a team that made a very deep run last season. I don’t see them following up that performance by getting bounced in the first round.
PHLA Pick: Ellender
9) Morgan City vs. 24) Livonia
Morgan City has put together a pretty good season so far. They have had big wins over some tough teams such as Dunham as well as New Iberia. They are a senior laden team that I don’t think is going to go down easily this playoffs.
PHLA Pick: Morgan City
8) Edna Karr vs. 25) Franklin Parish
If you would have asked me back around Christmas time who my pick for 4A state champs would be, Edna Karr would have been on a very short list of teams. They have cooled off a bit since then, but not by much. When Marc Bowie really gets going, there isn’t much that the other team can do to slow him down. Don’t be too surprised if Karr upsets some teams and winds up in the Final Four.
PHLA Pick: Edna Karr
5) Carencro vs. 28) Buckeye
All season long, Carencro has been my pick as the favorites for the 4A state title. They have the talent to compete with anyone in the state, and they have some big wins to back that up. They have wins over Scotlandville, Landry Walker, as well as top seeded Westgate. However, they have been dropping some games lately, in what is admittidly one of the toughest districts in the state. Now is the time for Carencro to really start clicking, and if they do, good luck to the rest of 4A.
PHLA Pick: Carencro
12) Salmen vs. 21) Cecilia
Cecilia has been as up and down as anybody this season. They have some really good wins, including over district rival and 4 seed Breaux Bridge. They also have some bad losses including a loss to Beau Chene to end the season. I think that Cecilia has the chance to pull off a big upset.
PHLA Pick: Cecilia
13) Warren Easton vs. 20) Neville
This has undoubtably been one of the most talented and most successful Warren Easton squads of the last few years. They have the senior guard play to compete with anyone in the state, and a very talented junior big. It is a real shame that Larenz Williams decided to play with a prep school out of Texas, because if they had him, they would probably be the team to beat.
PHLA Pick: Warren Easton
4) Breaux Bridge vs. 29) BT Washington
Since Coach Chad Pourciau took over at Breaux Bridge three seasons ago, he has done as well as anyone. In his first season, he took a team that only had 8 wins the year before he got there, and lead them to a 21-8 season. In his second year, his team was plagued by injuries, but I still think he got the most out of them. Now in year 3, he has his team in prime position for a final four run.
PHLA Pick: Breaux Bridge
3) Woodlawn Shreve vs. 30) South Lafourche
So far this season, Woodlawn Shreve has been one of the most consistent teams night in and night out, and I feel like I know pretty well the product that they are going to put on the floor, which is rare for a group of high school players. I don’t see their run to the Final Four ending here.
PHLA Pick: Woodlawn Shreve
14) Opelousas vs. 19) Leesville
In Coach Lorenzo Williams’ first season with Opelousas, I feel like he has done a real good job with the cards he’s been dealt. They started the year off hot, winning 7 of their first 8 including a win over McKinley that looks really good in hindsight. They competed in a really tough district. Now all that is left to do is get a playoff victory.
PHLA Pick: Opelousas
11) Northside vs. 22) Helen Cox
This is going to be a very interesting game for the Vikings.When it comes to 11 vs 22 seeds, it is usually a pretty easy pick, but Helen Cox has the talent and pedigree to make this one tougher than it needs to be. However, I think that Northside’s seniors will be able to will themselves to victory by a narrow margin.
PHLA Pick: Northside
6) Tioga vs. 27) Assumption
This is the second year straight that these two teams meet up in the playoffs. As Coach Jimmy Winslow at LSUA (who was at Tioga last year) loves to remind me, I got the pick wrong when I went with Assumption. I’m not going to make that same mistake twice. Give me the Indians and their tough backcourt to get the job done.
PHLA Pick: Tioga
7) DeRidder vs. 26) Huntington
One of these teams has an uber athletic 6’7 Randy Gladney, who might just be the best player in all of 4A. The other team doesn’t. I’ll take the team with Gladney
PHLA Pick: DeRidder
10) Beau Chene vs. 23) St. Martinville
St. Martinville has one of the most storied histories in Louisiana basketball. Coach Darrell Mitchell has been at the school for many years, and has coached some truly great teams. However, this has been a down year for St. Martinville, and I don’t see it getting much better for the Tigers in the next few years.
PHLA Pick: Beau Chene
15) Bastrop vs. 18) McDonogh 35
McDonogh 35 has been one of the most up and down teams of the year. They have some big wins over teams like St. Thomas More. However, they haven’t been able to put together a consistent product and string together a number of wins in a row. However, all they need is one win Friday night. I think the talent the ‘Roneagles possess is going to be simply too much for Bastrop.
PHLA Pick: McDonogh 35
2) Bossier vs. 31) Franklinton
Not very often in a 2 vs. 31 matchup is the best player on the court for the 31st ranked team. That’s the good news for Tylan Pope and Franklington. The bad news is that Bossier has the next five best players, and a 6’7 sophomore big in Dante Bell that will matchup as well as you can with someone of Pope’s talent.
PHLA Pick: Bossier