Tuesday was a very good night for the Bossier Bearkats and Parkway Panthers.
The Bearkats closed the regular season with a 65-39 rout of the North DeSoto Griffins at Bossier. The victory gave the Bearkats the outright District 1-4A championship.
It is Bossier’s first District 1-4A title since the 2011-12 season. The Bearkats moved down to District 1-3A after that season before moving back up this season.
Bossier has won or shared seven straight district titles. The Bearkats finished runner-up in District 1-4A in 2008-09, Jeremiah Williams first year as head coach.
“It’s one of our yearly goals,” Williams said of winning the district title. “Every year we have short-term goals toward long-term goals. One of the goals that we have is to be a district champion. It’s something that we’ve done regularly since I’ve been here and it’s something this team didn’t want to drop the ball on. We just feel blessed. We’re excited and happy for these guys and my coaching staff that we’re district champions again.”
Bossier finished the regular season 22-10 overall and 9-1 in district. The Bearkats finished one game ahead of Fair Park (22-7, 8-2), which defeated Benton 60-47 Tuesday at Benton. Bossier defeated Fair Park 50-45 in overtime in their only district meeting.
Bossier was No. 6 in the latest Class 4A power rankings released Tuesday. The Bearkats will host a first-round game, but official pairings won’t be announced until Monday.
Parkway clinched a share of the District 1-5A championship with a 60-50 victory over the Southwood Cowboys at Southwood.
The Panthers avenged a 47-43 loss in the teams’ first district game Jan. 27 at Parkway.
Parkway (20-9, 10-1) leads Southwood (21-6, 9-2) by a game with only Friday’s home game against Evangel remaining.
Parkway defeated Evangel 37-36 in the teams’ first district meeting Jan. 26 at Evangel. If the Panthers lose, and Southwood defeats Airline in its regular-season finale, the Panthers and Cowboys will have a one-game playoff to decide the 1-5A first-place playoff representative.
Despite winning 11 of its last 13 games, Parkway was No. 37 in the latest Class 5A power rankings. The top 32 teams generally make the playoffs, but district champions automatically qualify. So unless the Panthers make a dramatic move in the rankings, they will have to defeat Evangel or win the tiebreaker game to make the postseason.
In other District 1-5A games Tuesday, Airline fell to Byrd 72-66 at Byrd and Haughton lost to Evangel 75-60 at Haughton.
At Bossier, the Bearkats had little trouble with North DeSoto (9-15, 1-9). Robinson scored seven points and Chris Davenport six as Bossier rolled to a 19-6 first-quarter lead. By halftime it was 37-18.
Robinson led the Bearkats with 16 points. Davenport finished with 14 points, four rebounds and two blocks. Antonio Davis grabbed 12 rebounds.
Tyrese English had 12 points, five rebounds and three assists. Jacoby Decker scored eight. Travis Manning had five points and four assists.
When asked the keys to Bossier’s success this season, Williams didn’t hesitate to credit the young men on the floor.
“You can’t win without players,” he said. “We’ve got some pretty good players and we show glimpses of being pretty good when we want to be. It’s all about being consistent and playing consistently every day. And that’s what we work hard at in practice, playing at a consistent level of excellence and the guys have done that. I’m just proud of them and their progression.”
At Southwood, Robert McKnight and Terrace Marshall Jr. scored 13 points each to lead the Panthers. Justin Rogers added 10.
Parkway raced to 12-0 lead, but Southwood hit three 3-pointers in a 13-2 run to get within one. The Panthers, propelled by McKnight, closed the first half with a 13-3 run and led 27-16.
Parkway led by 11 going into the fourth quarter but the Cowboys didn’t go quietly. Southwood got within one with just under three minutes to play. But Kamren Davis hit back-to-back baskets to put the Panthers back up by five, ending the threat.
At Byrd, the Vikings dropped to 11-19 and 2-9 with the loss to the Yellow Jackets. Airline wraps up the season with the game at Southwood Friday.
Benton hung with Fair Park for three quarters, trailing by just two. But the Indians pulled away in the fourth. The Tigers finished the season 10-15 and 3-7 in 1-4A.
Haughton closes its season at home Friday against Captain Shreve.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org