Posted On: 10/12/18 11:17 AM

October 8th has come and all of the classifications are now practicing for the upcoming season. All classes and divisions have also turned in or are completing schedules against various opponents in their region and around the state. In north Louisiana, some of the high school schedules are beginning to be posted on various websites and services. In this Prep Hoops preview, we will take a look at some of the marquee match ups between northern Louisiana teams and various opponents.

Southwood Cowboys (1-5A) at Bossier Bearkats (1-4A) – November 13, 2018 

There could possibly no better match-up in the state, let alone Shreveport-Bossier, to get the season started as both of these playoff teams battle one another.  This is a marquee game due to the level of talent that both teams possess.  Bossier has Grambling commit Jacoby Decker (PH LA 2019 #7, pictured above) and back court mate Kalaas Roots (PH LA 2019 #43 ) who have a wealth of experience in high profile games.  Forward/Center D’Ante Bell (PH LA 2020 #4) is a 6’8″ force inside the paint.  The Cowboys counter with point guard Bobby Baker and stud wings Rod Stinson and Sadarionne “SD” Ellis.  These seniors have been through the wars as well.  They will hope that talented sophomore Daniel Ortiz is a difference maker in this year’s contest.  Bell’s tip in at the buzzer was the difference last year.  If there is a similar ending during this edition, this game will be an instant classic.   (Prediction – Bossier)

Zwolle Hawks (3-B) at Simsboro Tigers (2-B) – November 13, 2018

Week three of basketball in class B brings the two finalist from the 2018 Class B championship together in Simsboro, Louisiana.  In their last game, Simsboro won the state championship with the help of Gianni Nelson’s MVP performance.  This time Nelson and star guard Kalep Crane will look to derail the Hawks train in the early season marquee match-up.  Simsboro may be hosting the game but they will be without all state guard Jakemin Abney due to injury.  With that lack of firepower, Simsboro might be ripe for the taking.  I look for forwards Jermaine Williams and Dkendrick Pittmon to fill in the scoring void of Ladarius Cutright and make this game very interesting.  (Prediction – Simsboro) 

Wossman Wildcats (2-3A) at Ouachita Lions (2-5A) – November 27, 2018

Coach Casey Jones leads his Wildcats into this crosstown, marquee game in a place he knows all to well.  Jones will take his 18-19 troops into the “Madhouse on Madison” and face the Lions in this post-Thanksgiving tilt.  This year’s version will have a change in the cast of leading men since all state performers LaPoole and Comanche are gone.  Coach Jones will rely on Jatarrius Turpin, Nick Traylor and a talented crew to battle the senior back court of Paul King and RJ Hill.  Guard play will be at a premium in this contest.  Whoever has the best guard play should prevail in the match-up.  Along with the guard play, watch for which team has better inside play.  Both teams will need and ice bath at the conclusion of this one.  (Prediction – Ouachita)

Tensas Panthers (2-1A) at Southern Lab Kittens (6-1A) – November 23, 2018 (pictured above)

The Panthers from Tensas will travel to the state capital to take on the Kittens of Southern Lab.  Last year these two teams met and Tensas came out with the victory at home.  The Kittens will be looking to avenge that loss from last November.  Even though they lost Albert South to graduation, Tensas will have the scoring duo of (Courtland) Lundy and (Devion) Mason on the floor.  During the summer, these two combined to give all teams between 1A and 5A fits.  They will try to continue their scoring ways in this marquee match-up.  Southern Lab was hit hard by graduation as most of their production left last year.  Hopefully their non-football playing talent can pull of the victory.  If they have their football players are available, the Kittens may indeed pull of the victory.  (Prediction – Tensas)

Holy Savior Menard Eagles (4-2A) at St. Mary’s Tigers (3-1A) – November 26, 2018

Menard and St. Mary’s will battle in Natchitoches in late November.  While St. Mary’s is coming off of a state runner season, Menard is trying to re-establish themselves as a 2A power.  In last year’s game, Menard came out with a 10 point victory at home.  The marquee names in the match-up are 6’6″ forward Jourdain Dishmond (PH LA 2021 #8, pictured above) and 6’7″ post Thomas Howell (PH LA 2020 #8).  Both of these post players had great summers and will be looking to establish themselves firmly within recruiting circles as two of the best.  The outcome will probably come down to who has the best game out of those two.  If guard Parker Bankston can have a game similar to his averages from last year, St. Mary’s might win going away.  No matter the outcome, the big man match-up is worth the price of admission.  (Prediction – St. Mary’s)

Marquee match-ups in November will get the season off to a roaring start.  These games mentioned will be some of the hotly contested games going on throughout the highways and bi-ways of Louisiana.  If these games are any indication of how the season will go, look for a lot of action on the hardwood as the season progresses.