Posted On: 11/12/18 4:15 PM
In a few hours, the high school season will begin for classes 1A-5A. Schools with championship aspirations will begin their march towards the Lake Charles “marsh” while others look to improve throughout the season and make a playoff push. In north Louisiana, there are five teams that are definitely looking to hoist a championship trophy at season’s end. They are north Louisiana’s top five and we will take a look at them right here.
Rayville – 2A State Champions / Last season’s record (34-0) – pictured above
The Rayville Hornets have not lost a regular season game since the 2A state championship in 2017 to Madison Prep. They will come into this season after an undefeated summer with the goal of repeating last season’s performance. Two things may prevent them from having another undefeated season. One is their tournament trip to Illinois where they will face some of the best teams in the Midwest. The other is the loss of stretch four Nashun Ellis to graduation. While his loss is big, it helps to have Louisiana’s top player on your team. Mylik Wilson (ULL commit) helps to erase a lot of mistakes on the defensive end and can score in bunches on the offense. His cousins, JaMarkus and Jamichael Wilson (2019), are big time players as well. The Hornets do a good job making teams play their tempo. If they can continue to impose their style on opponents, another state title will be theirs for the taking.
Bossier – 4A Round of 16 / Last season’s record (29-7)
One of the biggest disappointments during last season’s playoff was that we did not get to see Woodlawn-Bossier part three. Bossier lost in the round of 16 at McDonogh #35 which left a bad taste in their mouth. Well, Bossier is back and they will have two new players to go along with their loaded returning roster. Xavien Beasley (2019) and transfer Cody Dean (2020) will be added to a squad that already has an abundance of firepower. While the latter can not suit up until December, the former has helped transform the Bearkats into a high-powered offense. Jacoby Decker (Grambling commit) and Kaalas Roots (2019) are still one of the best back courts in the state and D’ante Bell (2020) has come on as a force down low. The trick will be meshing all of this talent together. If Coach Bohanan can pull this off, he will not only have one of the best teams in north Louisiana, he will have brought Bossier another state title.
Peabody – 3A State Runner-up / Last season’s record (34-3)
The Warhorses come into the season with high expectations and a rich championship tradition. This particular season they also return four out of five starters from last year’s state runner-up team. Guard Kyron Gibson (2019) and wing Darius Smith (2019) are top five players at their positions. Either player can take over a game with their offense or their defense. Peabody did lose a huge piece in Dwight Simon and that may hurt them in rebounding. From the looks of the team this summer, they will have someone step up to fill that void. They also have probably the best wing that no one talks about in Marcus Jones (2020). He is a hybrid version of Gibson and Smith who can do multiple things offensively. With these three on the floor, they make it rough on the opposing team on both sides of the ball. Look for the Warhorses to be in the hunt for another trip to Marsh Madness when March rolls around.
Ouachita – 5A Semifinalist / Last season’s record (29-7)
One of the signature programs in north Louisiana are the Ouachita Lions. Last year they were one of the two representatives that District 2-5A had in the semifinals. Losing a close one to Landry Walker seemed to have fueled most of their players during the summer because they played every opponent like it was do or die. Guards R.J. Hill (2019) and Paul King (2019) personified this type of play as they took every possession personally. They caused turnovers and pushed tempo all summer. Most opposition wilted under their relenting pressure. Post Myron Washington (2019) showed that he could be an anchor in the paint as well whether it was by scoring or playing defense. These Lions looked to be hungry and will start their season as so. I would not be surprised if this version of the Lions represents north Louisiana again during Marsh Madness.
Wossman – 3A Semifinalist / Last season’s record (26-10)
The Wossman Wildcats had a tough season last year. Well, if tough is considered losing ten games before district even starts, that is really tough. Somehow, Coach Jones showed north Louisiana, and district 2-3A, that they were more than ready for the challenge. They rode and undefeated district season into the playoffs and reached the semifinals. Now they will be looking towards a repeat run to Lake Charles and try to finish the deal this year. It helps when you have the bruising inside game like they do. Nicholas Traylor (2020) scores through contact and is a backboard bruiser while Lajarrion Spinks (2019) handles the everything else on the interior. Along with guards Jatarius Turpin (2019) and Rayson Robinson (2019) providing perimeter punch, Wossman should be one of the more balanced teams seen this season. Their defense will ultimately carry them as far as they will go. With their stellar defense backing them, Lake Charles is a goal that will be reached this season.
These five teams are sure-fired contenders for the state championship in their respective classifications. North Louisiana competition, and others around the state, should keep one eye on these teams as the season goes. They will be in the hunt from season’s tip until the last horn sounds.