High school basketball: Bossier advances to quarterfinals of Bossier Invitational; District 1-5A play continues Friday night

2023

The Bossier Bearkats advanced to the quarterfinals of the 77th annual Bossier Invitational boys basketball tournament with a 91-48 rout of New Living Word on Thursday night at Bossier.

In other first-round games Thursday, Benton fell to Richwood 78-45, Carencro downed Northwood 59-28, defending Class 5A state champion Natchitoches Central dropped Green Oaks 82-47 and Ruston defeated Booker T. Washington 57-48.

Natchitoches Central is also the Bossier Invitational defending champ.

In Friday’s quarterfinal games at Bossier High, Bossier (17-3) plays Union Parish (11-7) at 6:30 and Carencro (12-7) takes on Ruston (11-4) at 8. In quarterfinal games at Elm Grove Middle School, Natchitoches Central (15-2) faces Huntington (13-7) at 6:30 and Fair Park (13-6) plays Richwood (13-8) at 8.

The semifinals are Saturday at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Bossier. The third-place game is at 6 and will be followed by the championship game.

As expected, the Bearkats had little trouble with Class C New Living Word (7-20).

Bossier, which extended its winning streak to 12, led 23-10 after the first quarter and 46-17 at the half.

Every Bearkat got ample playing time and twelve scored. Sophomore guard Jacoby Decker, the MVP of last week’s Willis-Knighton Doc Edwards Invitational, led Bossier with 22 points. He hit four 3-pointers, including three in the third quarter.

Tybo Wimberly scored 19, including two 3-pointers.

At BPCC, Benton got off to a rough start against Richwood. The Tigers scored only five points in the first quarter and trailed by 13 going into the second. Benton picked up the pace in the second quarter but was unable to gain any ground. The Rams led 33-16 at the half.

Jessie Little and Jerriyun Lawrence led Benton with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Elijah Malone led three Richwood players in double figures with 18 points.

Benton (5-8) plays Green Oaks in a consolation game at 5 p.m. Friday at Bossier.

Elsewhere, District 1-5A play continues in boys and girls basketball Friday night.

Airline hosts Parkway and Haughton visits Byrd.

The Airline and Parkway boys both opened district play with victories Tuesday night. The Vikings (12-5) defeated Evangel Christian 61-58. The Panthers (9-4), who shared the district title with Southwood last season, edged Captain Shreve 54-53.

The Haughton-Byrd game is the first district contest for the Bucs. Byrd lost to Southwood 82-77 in its opener.

The Airline and Parkway girls are both coming off losses. The Lady Vikings (9-10, 2-1) fell to Evangel Christian 55-39 and the Lady Panthers (2-12, 0-3) lost to Captain Shreve 51-30.

Haughton (9-9, 0-2) and Byrd (4-12, 0-2) are both looking for their first district victories.

In District 1-1A boys and girls games, Plain Dealing visits Ringgold. The Lions (3-7, 1-2) and Lady Lions (5-9, 1-2) are both coming off district losses to Lincoln Prep.

In non-district girls games, Benton (10-9) visits Ruston and Bossier (9-9) is at Lakeview.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com