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Posted On: 11/5/18 4:20 PM
While the high school football season is moving towards the playoffs, the high school basketball season kicked off this week. Class B and C as well as Division V began their march to Lake Charles with games in most of the small towns in Louisiana. All of the larger classes and divisions began scrimmages or Hall of Fame game action in preparation for their season openers on November 13th. We will take a look at some takeaways from the week that was in high school basketball in north Louisiana.
Simsboro Starts Where They Left Off
The Tigers from Simsboro (picture above) began the defense of their class B championship with three impressive wins. They dispatched Dodson, Florien, and Epps by a total of 126 points. I saw them during a scrimmage in Choudrant and they were playing at a very high level. Two players have stood out with their performances beginning the season. Kalep Crane (6’1″ Junior) and Gianni Nelson (6’0″ Senior) have led the way offensively and defensively. These two play at the top of Tiger press and are the two leading scorers thus far. Simsboro looks this impressive and they are still waiting for their best player, Jakemin Abney (6’3″, Junior), to suit up. They are expecting him back this week which would be just in time for the Gibsland-Coleman tournament and their in season match up with state runner-up Zwolle. If they are successful during the next week and a half, they may go into Christmas undefeated.
Bossier Must Have Inside Scoring
The Bossier Bearkats are absolutely loaded with talent and they will be one of the odds on favorites to reach Marsh Madness in March in class 4A. Primary reasons would be the guard play of Jacoby Decker (5’9″, Senior), Kaalas Roots (6’1″, Senior pictured above), and Tim King (6’0″, Junior). Each one of them can light it up from long distance at any given time. However, during the Parkway Super Scrimmage this past weekend, Bossier ran into an unusual situation. While scrimmaging the Southwood Cowboys, the before-mentioned trio only made one three point shot. That shooting performance was coupled with Xavien Beasley (6’3″, Senior) and D’Ante Bell (6’7″, Junior) not getting many touches in the paint area. From the looks of it, if this Bossier team has aspirations of hoisting a state title, they will need to balance their outside shooting with a large amount of paint touches for Beasley and Bell. A balanced scoring attack may have them finishing where they should in the end.
Life Without Trent Ivy
For the last three seasons, Chris White has had one player that could go get his own shot or help facilitate a shot for others. That person was Trent Ivy. This season, Airline will need to replace the Southern Arkansas guard with one player or a committee of players. During their scrimmage on Tuesday night with Huntington, as was the case all summer, they are searching for that person. They do have returning senior guards Fred Lemons (5’10”, Senior pictured above) and Tarae “T.J.” Robinson (5’9″ Senior) who are very good players in their own right. While they posses leadership qualities and have the benefit of experience in big games, they do not have the physical atrributes to do what Ivy did. The Vikings are always known for moving and sharing the ball but Ivy gave them a legit playmaker. If they do not have a replacement, they may have to grind out wins by playing tough defense. Maybe 6’4″ sophomore Cinco Bryant (6’5″, Junior) can help replace some of Ivy’s production. Providing he can, Airline will improve their chances of winning another district title.
Small Guards playing big
This first week of the season has been about the small guards it seems. Whether it is a scrimmage, regular season, or a Hall of Fame game, small guards have been on display. Bobby Baker (5’6″, Senior) had a nice floor game on defense and offense in the Hall of Fame game as well as the Parkway Super Scrimmage. Lakeview’s trio of Jeffrey Willis (5’10”, Junior), Zarious Lewis (5’9, Senior pictured above), and Ty Washington (5’9″, Junior) scored 65 of the 70 points Lakeview had during its Hall of Fame game performance against the Southwood Cowboys. Martin McDowell (5’6″, Freshman) shot well from deep for Calvary Baptist in their scrimmages with Red River and Lakeside. 5’11” senior Joseph Wiley from Choudrant scored plenty in their game against Stanley to open the season. Where there is a school in north Louisiana, there seems to be a small guard on the roster making big contributions. These guys may not be D-I studs but they can play and contribute on the lower levels of college basketball. It will not surprise me to see these names on a college roster after high school is over.
Week one of high school basketball in Louisiana is in the books. This should be a great season of action and fun throughout the parishes in the Boot. With all the games and excitement going on, there will be more takeaways from teams and programs around Louisiana as the season progresses. One thing is for sure, Prep Hoops Louisiana will be there to cover it.