Home Sports-Free Girls basketball: Benton, Bossier, Plain Dealing face big challenges in Monday’s second...

Girls basketball: Benton, Bossier, Plain Dealing face big challenges in Monday’s second round

After posting impressive home victories in the first round of the LHSAA girls basketball playoffs, all three Bossier Parish teams will be underdogs on the road in Monday’s second-round games.

In Class 4A, District 1 champion Benton (26-8), the No. 11 seed, faces No. 6 Rayne (28-2) and runner-up Bossier (22-6), the No. 16 seed, travels to Lafayette to take on No. 1 St. Thomas More (22-5). In Class 1A, District 1 runner-up Plain Dealing (22-7), the No. 11 seed, plays No. 6 Merryville (29-0).

Benton defeated No. 22 Beau Chene 40-32 in the first round last Thursday, and Rayne routed No. 27 St. Martinville 67-30.

Rayne won District 3-4A with a 10-0 mark. The Lady Wolves didn’t have a game closer than 15 points in district play.

Rayne lost back-to-back games against Barbe 50-44 and St. Thomas More 27-25 in early December. They’ve reeled off 23 straight wins since then. Barbe won the District 1-5A title and is the No. 4 seed in the 5A playoffs.

The Lady Wolves reached the quarterfinals last year, falling to eventual runner-up Salmen 51-48.

Bossier defeated No. 17 Salmen 66-48 in the first round, and St. Thomas More crushed No. 32 Assumption 77-24.

St. Thomas More won the District 4-4A championship with a 9-1 mark. The Lady Cougars’ lone district loss was to Carencro 59-57 on Feb. 10.

Two of St. Thomas More’s losses were to out-of-state teams. The Lady Kats and Lady Cougars have one common opponent in Salmen. St. Thomas More lost to the Lady Spartans 47-45 in the third game of the season. The Lady Cougars’ other in-state loss was to St. Michael 35-32 on Dec. 11.

St. Thomas More lost in the second round last year.

Plain Dealing rolled past No. 22 East Iberville 71-42 in the first round of the 1A playoffs, and Merryville crushed No. 27 Block 79-29.

Merryville won the District 4-1A title with a 14-0 record. The Lady Panthers’ closest game in district play was 12 points. Their second-closest was 29.

Merryville’s closest game on the season was a 49-48 victory against Singer on Dec. 19. They won every other game by at least 12 points.

Merryville lost to Plain Dealing’s 1-1A rival Arcadia in the quarterfinals last year.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com

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