Basketball: 1-5A boys teams get fresh start

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Russell Hedges

rhedges@bossierpress.com

 

Right now, all three Bossier Parish Class 5A boys basketball teams are on the outside looking in as far as making the playoffs is concerned.

But tonight brings a new opportunity with the opening of District 1-5A play.

All three parish teams are on the road. Airline (6-13) is at Byrd (18-3), Haughton (7-9) visits Captain Shreve (8-7) and Parkway (8-7) travels to Southwood (11-8).

The Bossier boys (13-7) also begin District 1-3A play away from home against Booker T. Washington (6-7).

The top 32 teams in the power rankings in each class generally make the playoffs. But district championship teams automatically qualify regardless of their power rating.

Airline fell to Natchitoches Central in a non-district game Tuesday night at Airline.
Jere Grice/Press-Tribune
Airline fell to Natchitoches Central in a non-district game Tuesday night at Airline.

Parkway had the highest unofficial power ranking of the three parish Class 5A teams at No. 45 through last week’s games. The Panthers could actually be a little higher after knocking off No. 11 Ruston 65-58 on Tuesday.

Airline was at No. 47 and Haughton No. 59.

It’s not necessarily impossible for them to reach the top 32, but they would need to get hot and string together a lot of wins.

Of course, they could also qualify by winning the district title. That would also take a major run.

Byrd is the prohibitive favorite. The Jacket have one of the state’s top players in guard Chadd Lott.

Defending champion Captain Shreve’s record is deceptive. The Gators have lost only one game by double digits. They also took eventual champion Richwood down to the wire in the first round of the “Doc” Edwards tournament and lost to a strong Natchitoches Central team by two in the Bossier tournament.

Both Shreve (No. 26) and Southwood (No. 31) are in the top 32 in the power ratings.

Parkway’s power rating suffered from not having its football players in its first four games, all losses. The Panthers have gone 8-3 since then.

Haughton has gone 7-4 since losing its first five games, but the Bucs’ schedule has hurt their power rating.

Airline, which has played a very strong schedule, has lost seven of its last eight and will be trying to break a five-game losing streak when it faces Byrd tonight.

The Vikings have some talent, but they are young, starting two freshmen and two sophomores.

Bossier has won five straight district titles and 50 consecutive district games, but the Bearkats face a tough challenge this season.

Bossier and Green Oaks (6-12) are the lone holdovers from last season’s four-team district. North Webster (14-7), BTW (6-7), Evangel (12-8) and Mansfield (6-11) are new additions.

North Webster, which defeated Bossier 60-55 in quarterfinals of the “Doc” Edwards tournament, could be the Bearkats’ biggest obstacle in the way of a sixth straight title.