The Bossier Bearkats are one win away from the Class 4A boys basketball State championship game.
To get there, they’ll have to defeat last year’s champion Carencro. The No. 1 seed Bearkats (31-3) and No. 5 Bears (24-10) face off at 6:15 Tuesday night in the Class 4A semifinals.
The game is part of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boys’ Basketball state tournament at McNeese State’s Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles.
The winner plays the winner between No. 2 Leesville (31-3) and No. 3 Breaux Bridge (31-5) for the state title Friday at 8.
Bossier has rolled through the playoffs, defeating No. 32 New Orleans Military & Maritime Academy 90-29, No. 16 Morgan City 69-43 and No. 5 Franklin Parish 72-30. The Bearkats have won 19 in a row.
Carencro has defeated No. 28 Pearl River 100-44, No. 12 Huntington 60-53 and No. 20 Livonia 70-52.
The Bears, who had no returning starters from the championship team, won District 7-4A with an 8-2 record.
“I know it’s not going to be easy,” Bossier coach Nick Bohanan said. “It’s going to be another dogfight. I’ve got a lot of respect for coach (Christopher) Kovatch down there. I know he’s going to be well-prepared. Since he’s been there they’ve had a lot of success. Coming off the state championship last year know they’re expecting nothing less again this year.”
Carencro is not unfamiliar with District 1-4A teams. In addition to beating Huntington in the second round this season, the Bears edged Woodlawn 75-73 in last year’s title game.
The Bears are blessed with height up front.
Joseph Charles, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, leads Carencro in scoring at 18 points per game. Julian Lander, a 6-5 senior forward, averages 17 points and 9.2 rebounds.
Bossier is looking to return to the finals for the first time since 2016 when the Bearkats won the school’s third state title and second since 2011. Bossier has played in six championship games since 2005, including four in a row from 2009-2012. The 2012 one was Class 3A.
Four Bearkats average double figures in scoring — senior guard Jacoby Decker (17.9), senior guard Kaalas Roots (12.1), senior forward Xavien Beasley (11.8) and junior guard Cody Deen (10.1).
Beasley leads the team in rebounding at 6.9 a game. Dante Bell, a 6-8 junior forward, averages 5.2.
Seniors Tyron McCoy, Michael Green, Brenden Mosely and Deandre Thomas along with junior forward Otis Smith , sophomore guard Tim King and freshman guard Joseph Manning have contributed to the Bearkats’ success this season.