Boys basketball: Bossier Bearkats seek quarterfinal berth

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The Bossier High Bearkats and Ben Franklin Falcons have vastly different traditions in boys basketball.

Bossier has won two state championships with the last one being the 2011 Class 4A title. According to The Times-Picayune/nola.com, Ben Franklin’s District 9-4A championship this season is believed to be the first in school history. It’s 24 wins are also believed to be a school record.

Ben Franklin didn’t make the playoffs last season. Bossier hasn’t lost in the first round since 2003. Before last year’s second round exit in overtime to the No. 2 seed in Class 3A, Bossier had reached at least the semifinals six straight seasons, including four straight trips to the title game.

Tonight, the teams face off in a Class 4A second-round game at Bossier. Tipoff is 6:30.

The Falcons (24-3) have a much better record than the Bearkats (23-10), but Bossier is seeded No. 4 and Ben Franklin No. 13. The reason Bossier is seeded higher is the Bearkats have played a much tougher schedule.

Bossier split games with Class 5A No. 1 seed Natchitoches Central and No. 5 Ruston during the regular season. The Bearkats routed No. 29 Neville 64-45 in the first round last Friday.

Nevertheless, Bossier expects a challenge from the Falcons, who bring a 10-game winning streak with them from New Orleans.

Ben Franklin hasn’t lost since falling to Franklinton 91-70 on Jan. 12. The Falcons’ other two losses were to Archbishop Shaw 64-61 on Dec. 11 and Archbishop Rummel 52-42 on Dec. 2.

Ben Franklin, which defeated No. 20 Salmen 45-44 in the first round, has a veteran team. Five players are averaging eight points or more with three seniors leading the way — Jonathan Green (12.2), Jacob Yager (10.9) and Jack Heyl (9.6).

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com