Posted On: 11/19/18 5:10 AM

The Shreveport-Bossier area could not have asked for a better match-up to begin the season as Southwood and Bossier, two playoff teams from last season, hooked up. This game was a high scoring affair with action galore. Three pointers, dunks, and everything in between happened during this contest. Ultimately, the pressure Bossier placed on Southwood with their scoring prowess was too much for the game Cowboys. With a barrage of layups and three pointers in the third quarter, Bossier pulled away and ended up winning 85-65. Even with the winning margin, there are still five key questions that need to be looked at from this game.

How do you stop Bossier’s starting 5?

Going into a game with Bossier a coach lives with the fact that Jacoby Decker is going to score.  The question is how do you stop the others.  On Tuesday night, that question got a little more complex to answer.  In the first half when Southwood was hitting shots, they were content going basket for basket with Bossier.  Points were coming from Decker jumpers or penetration and put backs by Beasley and Bell.  As the game progressed, Kaalas Roots (2019) outside shot started to fall and Tyron McCoy (2019) hit a couple of threes.  Now a game that was tight throughout the first half became double digits midway through the third.  When all five starters are scoring, Bossier will be extremely tough to beat.  They have answers for anything done defensively.  Well, at least they did on Tuesday night.  

What is the Cowboys ceiling for the season?

An Eddie Hamilton coached team is known normally for its defense.  For years at Fair Park, his teams regularly kept scores low and possessions at a premium.  Last year, in his first season with the Cowboys, his team finally morphed into that defensive team as the playoffs neared and allowed them to go on a quarterfinal run.  This year’s version is slightly different, however.  These Cowboys can score and score in bunches.  Like past teams in Cowboy history, their guards are the scoring leaders.  Sadarionne “SD” Ellis (2019) , Rod Stinson (2019), and Daniel Ortiz (2020) shoot from distance very well.  Junior Christian Caldwell is a highlight waiting to happen.  If they embrace the typical defensive identity of Coach Hamilton’s team, they can make another quarterfinal run.  These Cowboys should also be the top team in 1-5A.  

What is Bossier missing?

Some people reading this will think this is a trick question.  While they have everyone back and have Xavien “Zay” Beasley (2019) as the biggest x-factor in the lineup, Bossier does not defend as they did in the past.  Past Bossier  teams would score in the 70s and hold teams in their 40s routinely.  This team just wants to outscore the opposition.  While they still have defenders like Roots and McCoy who play stellar on ball defense, there are still questions about some of their other players.  Bell seems to depend more on athleticism to defend than using the best technique while Beasley and Decker are undersized at their positions.  A team that has height, and can defend, will definitely cause this team trouble.  However, with the multiple scoring options they have, it might not matter. 

What prospect level is Daniel Ortiz?

Ortiz opened as the starting point guard for the Cowboys in his first varsity game and did not disappoint.  He was red hot in the first half scoring in multiple ways.  Whether it was shooting it from deep or driving a getting fouled, Ortiz was a tough cover for the Bearkats.  His fourteen point first half led Southwood.  Unfortunately for the Cowboys, and himself, Ortiz did not play the majority of the second half due to cramping.  Even without finishing the game as he started, Ortiz put people on notice that he will be a factor for this team going forward.  While he was in the game, the offense flowed and multiple players got good looks at the basket.  With two more years left to improve, Ortiz will be a definite Division 1 point guard prospect by the time his high school career is over.  

Who is the Bossier’s most important player?

While the addition of Zay Beasley is very important to Bossier’s success, the most important player to their success is Jacoby Decker.  Defenses still have to account for his whereabouts on the floor and gear their defenses to stop him.  If his outside shot is going in, a defense has to figure out how to cool him off.  Consequently, if he is being more of a point guard and getting others involved, the opposition can be in for a long night.  Decker is Bossier’s barometer.  If he is playing well, it will be a long night.  If he struggles, more than likely the team will struggle.  Hopefully with their new additions and a year of maturity, Bossier will be able to compensate offensively if Decker struggles.  Only time will tell.  I know this, it will be entertaining to watch.  

Both teams will play high caliber teams all season.  Guard play will be essential for the success of both.  Whatever happens to both teams in their quest to Marsh Madness in March, the journey should be interesting to see.  The Southwood Cowboys and Bossier Bearkats have the makings of a special season in their perspective classifications.