The Bossier Bearkats have some unfinished business at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boys’ Marsh Madness state tournament.
Last year, Bossier rallied from a big second-half deficit before falling to Breaux Bridge 61-58 in the Class 4A state championship game.
The Bearkats are one win away from playing for a state championship again.
Bossier (33-3), the No. 1 seed, faces No. 4 Brusly (28-5) in the Class 3A semifinals at 2:45 p.m. Thursday at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles.
The winner takes on No. 2 Wossman (33-3), which defeated No. 3 Madison Prep 48-46 in the other semifinal Wednesday afternoon, at 2 Saturday for the championship.
The Wossman-Madison Prep game was a rematch of last year’s title game won by Madison Prep. Wossman’s win also ended Madison Prep’s streak of five straight state titles, including the last two 3A championships.
Bossier is in the state tournament for the ninth time since 2009. The Bearkats won Class 4A state titles in 2011 and 2016. They were runners-up in Class 4A in 2009 and 2010 and 3A in 2012.
That’s in sharp contrast to Brusly, which is making its first semifinal appearance since 1991.
The Panthers defeated No. 29 Jewel Sumner 77-47 in the first round, No. 13 Marksville 73-58 in the second and No. 12 Ville Platte 67-62 in the quarterfinals.
Brusly rallied from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit against Ville Platte. Ja’Sean LeDuff and Jalen Forest led the Panthers with 22 and 20 points, respectively.
LeDuff, a guard, also had 33 against Marksville.
Three of Brusly’s four regular-season losses were to teams playing for state championships — Dunham (Division III), University Lab (Division II) and Port Allen.
The Panthers also have a win over University. Brusly’s other loss was to Class 5A Lafayette, which was upset in the second round as the No. 5 seed.
Brusly is in 7-3A with University and Madison Prep. The Panthers’ loss to University came in the district tournament. University went on to win the tournament.
Bossier has defeated No. 32 Grant 58-20, No. 17 Crowley 53-35 and No. 9 Richwood 70-55 en route to the semifinals.
The Bearkats have accomplished the feat despite losing two starters late in the season, including 6-foot-7 New Orleans signee D’Ante Bell to a knee injury.
Senior guard Cody Deen scored 30 points against Richwood after pouring in 26 against Crowley.
Tim King scored 19 against Richwood. Joseph Manning has also been productive offensively in the playoffs.
The Bearkats have gotten defensive help off the bench from Decamerion Richardson and James Davis, both first-team All-Parish football players on offense (running back) and defense (defensive back).