Posted On: 02/23/18 12:58 AM

1)Natchitoches Central vs. 32) Ponchatoula

This top seed in 5A  for Natchitotches Central should definitely answer whether or not they would still be able to be just as successful without Brandon Rachal who is now playing for LSU. During his time at NCHS, he lead them to 3 straight title games and a quarterfinal appearance. However, after a 29-3 season, you have to give a ton of credit to Coach Micah Coleman and senior Brian White for keeping this train rolling this season.

PHLA Pick: Natchitoches Central

16) Denham Springs vs. 17) Covington

Despite their youth in the backcourt, I am going to go with Covington to pick up the win on the road. I think that their youth will make some mistakes, but that their natural talent will shine through. Their pair of sophomore in Jaydon Carter and Reggie Gause are playing as well as they have all year, including Gause going for 38 points in a game over the final week of the season.

PHLA Pick: Covington

9) Comeaux vs. 24) Northshore

What a rough couple of first round matchups that Comeaux has pulled in the last two years. Last season they got matched up against a 22 seed that eventually won the state title in Landry-Walker. This year they get matched up against the best junior big in 6’8 Moses Ngdock. The good news  is that Comeaux has a bunch of different guys with size that they can throw at him. I don’t see the Spartans getting upset in the first round two years straight.

PHLA Pick: Comeaux

8) New Iberia vs. 25) Alexandria

2018 has been a pretty rough year for New Iberia so far. That includes a stretch of games for the yellowjackets in which they lost 6 of 7. They are in the midst of winning 7 of their last 8, but the competion over those 8 games has not been very tough. I think if NISH would have would up as the 8 seed and would have been matched up with Northshore, I would go with the upset, but ASH has really struggled all season. I will go with NISH, but in a closer game than you might expect.

PHLA Pick: New Iberia

5) East Ascension vs. 28) Zachary

This is going to be the 2nd matchup of the season between East Ascension and Zachary, and EA was able to come away with the win the first time around. I don’t see much of a change coming in the 2nd matchup.

PHLA Pick: East Ascension

12)Central LaFourche vs. 21) Southwood

This is going to be a real tough matchup between two hyper athletic teams that are trying to play at a high pace. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game ends up in the 70s for both teams. This is going to be my first upset pick, I am going to take the athleticism of Southwood to come away with a tight win.

PHLA Pick: Southwoood

13) St. Amant vs. 20) Airline

This is going to be the 3rd time that these two teams have matched up this season, with the high seeded St. Amant coming away with both games. In basketball, it is incredibly tough to win three straight games, but St. Amant was able to come away with a 20 point win in the last time these two times matched up. I’m going to go with 3 game sweep for the gators this season.

PHLA Pick: St. Amant

4) Walker vs. 29) Sulphur

This season, three different players for the Walker Wildcats have crossed 1,000 career points, which is an absolutely incredible collection of talent. Seniors Jalen Perkins and Dalton Moore both crossed the threshold earlier this season, and super sophomore Jalen Cook crossed it recently. I think Walker is going to be making a deep run into the playoffs.

PHLA Pick: Walker

3) Landry Walker vs. 30) West Jefferson

This is going to be the 2nd matchups of the season between these two teams out of  district 8-5A. Landry-Walker came away with the win the first time and I don’t see much of a change coming this game. Give me the team that has made the top 28 four of the last five years.

PHLA Pick: Landry Walker

14) Lafayette vs. 19) Dutchtown

This is going to be a very interesting matchup between two pretty equal teams. Lafayette is still missing the size advantage that they should have had when 6’10 Center Jaden Edwards went down earlier this season. They now don’t have anyone that matches up well with 6’7 Forward Southeastern commit Nick Caldwell. I’ll take the team with the most talented player, and that’s Caldwell.

PHLA Pick: Dutchtown

11) Slidell vs. 22) East St. John

This is the 2nd time these teams matchup, and Slidell came away with a 25 point win the first time around. Slidell has a trio of juniors in Tylor Harris, Jonathan Merriman, and Kolby Warren that are going to give teams nightmares. Give me the tigers for the 2nd win this year.

PHLA Pick: Slidell

6) HL Bourgeois vs. 27) LaGrange

When it comes to HL Bourgeois, there is always a question mark about what team is going to show up. There have been stretches during this season that they have looked like one of the best teams in the state, and there have been games that they look like they won’t make it out of the first round. I’m going to take HL, but I wouldn’t be overly surprised if they don’t get past the 2nd round.
PHLA Pick: HL Bourgeois

7) Bonnabel vs. 26) Live Oak

This has kind of been the year from hell for Bonnabel. They have been relying on youth all year long, which is tough enough to do on its own, but they have also been dealing with the injury bug to some of their key younger players. The good news is that they have been looking good so far, and they have TJ Collins, so I think they are going to be just fine.

PHLA Pick: Bonnabel

10) Thibodaux vs. 23) Acadiana

This is a bit of a controversial pick because HL Bourgeois is the higher seed, but I think that Thibodaux has been the most consistent and best team out of the tri-parish area. They have really been knocked because they have played less than 30 games this year, and over half of their games have been within their district, but I can definitly see them making a deep run through the playoffs.

PHLA Pick: Thibodaux

15) Hahnville vs. 18) West Monroe

Just a season ago, West Monroe made a miracle trip to the Top 28, going from the 10th seed and winning their first three games. Now I don’t think that type of run is going to happen for the Rebels again this season, but I don’t see them going down in the first round

PHLA Pick: West Monroe

2) Ouachita Parish vs. 31) Fountainebleu

Let’s be honest here. This is only the 2nd year in state history that a team the quality of Fountainebleu would make the playoffs, and that is because of the public school/private school split. There are 13 playoff teams in 5A that are in a different bracket for no reason.

PHLA Pick: Ouachita Parish