The 78th annual Bossier Invitational tips off Wednesday with five games at Bossier High.

The tournament, sponsored by Patrick Jackson Law Offices, features 13 boys teams.

Among the top contenders are Natchitoches Central, Bossier and DeRidder.

Natchitoches Central is 15-1 and No. 1 in the Class 5A power rankings.

DeRidder is 14-4 and No. 2 in the Class 4A rankings. Bossier is 9-6 and No. 6 in 4A.

Red River also brings a winning record into the tournament at 13-6. The Bulldogs, who finished third in last week’s “Doc” Edwards Invational, were No. 6 in the 2A power rankings.

There will be a new champion. Fair Park defeated Bossier 38-36 in last year’s title game.

Fair Park has merged with Booker T. Washington and the old Fair Park High is now a middle school.

Fair Park’s former head coach, Eddie Hamilton, is now the head coach at Southwood, which is in the field.

The Cowboys are 7-9. BTW (8-7) is also in the field.

Bossier, led by junior guard Jacoby Decker, takes on Mansfield in the first round at 6:30 p.m. Benton (9-6), the only other Bossier Parish team in the tournament, plays Red River at 8.

The Red-River Benton winner faces Natchitoches Central, which received a first-round bye, in the quarterfinals Thursday at 5.

The semifinals are scheduled for 7 and 8:30 Friday with the championship game set for 7:30 Saturday.

WEDNESDAY’S GAMES
AT BOSSIER HIGH

Richwood vs. BTW, 2 p.m.
Ruston vs. Green Oaks, 3:30 p.m.
Union Parish vs. Huntington, 5 p.m.
Bossier vs. Mansfield, 6:30 p.m.
Red River vs. Benton, 8

The Bossier Lady Kats host the Minden Lady Tiders in a key District 1-4A girls game Tuesday night at 6.

Bossier (14-3, 1-1), which has won four in a row, is ranked No. 3 in the Class 4A power rankings. Minden (20-0, 2-0), coming off a come-from-behind overtime victory over North Caddo in the finals of the “Doc” Edwards Invitational, is No. 2.

Elsewhere in 1-4A girls action tonight, Benton (14-4), ranked No. 1 in Class 4A, visits North DeSoto (7-8).

In District 1-5A games, Haughton (8-6, 0-1) hosts Byrd (2-15, 0-2) and Parkway (8-10, 1-1) visits Southwood (13-8, 1-1).

In a District 1-1A, Plain Dealing (7-9, 1-0) visits Jonesboro-Hodge (13-8, 1-1).

In District 1-4A boys games, Benton (9-6, 1-0) is at North DeSoto (2-12, 0-1) and Bossier (9-6, 0-1) hosts Minden (4-14, 0-1).

In District 1-5A openers, Haughton (2-8) is at home against Byrd (11-3) and Parkway (7-6) visits Southwood (7-9).

In a District 1-1A boys game, Plain Dealing (6-10, 1-0) is at Jonesboro-Hodge (6-7, 0-2).

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com