The District 1-5A boys basketball race got off to a rocky start for Bossier Parish schools Tuesday night.
All three 1-5A teams opened district play with home losses. Parkway dug itself a deep hole and almost rallied against Southwood before falling 77-64.
Airline played Byrd on even terms in the first half but the Jackets pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 77-63 victory. Haughton got behind early against Shreve and lost 81-63.
The news was much better for the Bossier Bearkats. Bossier got its second straight impressive victory, defeating Booker T. Washington 59-41 in a District 1-3A opener at Bossier. The Bearkats defeated 19-win Tioga 66-53 Tuesday night at Bossier.
The victory was the Bearkats’ 61st straight in district play. Bossier has won six straight district titles, including the last three District 1-3A crowns, but has struggled somewhat this season. BTW, which came into the game with a 13-5 record, is considered to be one of the teams that might end Bossier’s streak.
In other district openers, Benton lost to Minden 63-57 at home in District 1-4A and Plain Dealing edged Grambling 42-39 on the road.
At Airline, the Vikings hung with the Jackets for most of the game, trailing by just one at the half and four going into the fourth quarter.
But Byrd took advantage of some Airline turnovers and missed shots early in the fourth quarter and began pulling way. The Vikings (7-13) lost their eighth straight game.
Montrey Thomas and Chad Lott led Byrd (15-4) with 23 and 21 points, respectively. KJ Bilbo paced Airline with 18 points. Robby Dooley added 14 and Tyrbren Wimberly 11.
At Parkway, the Panthers trailed 55-30 with 3:35 left in the third quarter. The Panthers didn’t shut it down, though. They got within eight points in the fourth quarter, but the Cowboys held them off.
It was the third straight loss for the Panthers (15-7). Southwood improved to 17-4.
At Haughton, Ja’Marcia Banks scored 14 points and Damien Sears 13 in the Bucs’ loss to the co-defending champion Gators. Javonte Woodard added 11. Toronco Loston, the MVP of last week’s Bossier Invitational, led Shreve with 22 points, including three 3-pointers.
At Bossier, the Bearkats broke open a 27-27 tie in the third quarter, outscoring the Lions 17-7. Larry Robinson topped Bossier (8-10) with 16 points, and Kentrell Hardy added 13.
At Benton, the Tigers dropped to 5-12 with their seventh straight loss.
At Grambling, the Lions improved to 11-8 with their third straight win.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com