The Bossier Bearkats erased all of a 22-point halftime deficit against the McDonogh No. 35 Roneagles in the second round of the Class 4A boys basketball playoffs only to fall 80-78 Tuesday night in New Orleans.
Using relentless full-court pressure, No. 2 seed Bossier rallied and took a 78-77 lead in the final 15 seconds on a basket by Jacoby Decker.
But No. 18 McDonogh converted a three-point play on a layup off a pass that covered almost the entire length of the floor. Bossier almost lost possession in the backcourt but retained it after a jump ball.
Following a timeout, the Bearkats got the ball to Decker, who penetrated inside the 3-point line and put up a shot near the free throw line.
It bounced off the left side of the rim as the horn sounded.
Bossier got off to an atrocious start. The Bearkats trailed 26-9 after the first quarter and couldn’t cut the deficit in the second.
Bossier began to turn things around in the third quarter and trailed 64-51. McDonogh still led 77-67 with just over two minutes left. But the Bearkats hit two 3-pointers in a 9-0 run to cut the lead to one. Bossier got a steal to set up Decker’s go-ahead shot.
Bossier finished 27-7 in Nick Bohanan’s first year as head coach. Five of the losses were by two points. The Bearkats shared the District 1-4A championship with Woodlawn. Tuesday’s loss snapped an 18-game winning streak.
The game was the final one for senior starters Keyshawn Jones and Landric Watson. But Bossier should have a solid group coming back next season.
Starting guards Decker and Kaalas Roots are juniors. Dante Bell, a 6-foot-7 forward, is a sophomore. Tyron McCoy, who missed the last third of the season because of a medical issue, is a junior. Guard Tim King, who also was a key contributor, is a sophomore.
Decker scored 25 points and had five assists Tuesday. Bell had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Roots and King scored 10 each. Jones had eight points.
McDonogh No. 35 (19-14) will host No. 23 St. Martinville, which upset No. 7 DeRidder 55-52, in the quarterfinals.
In a Class 1A second-round game, the No. 19 Plain Dealing Lions led No. 3 North Central through the first quarters only to see the Hurricanes rally in the fourth for a 74-62 victory in Plain Dealing.
The Lions led 23-14 after the first quarter, 43-34 at the half and 58-46 after three. Derrien Perry and Jakeldrick Oliver led Plain Dealing with 24 and 22 points, respectively.
Plain Dealing finished 13-17 in Norm Picou’s first year as head coach. North Central (25-7) will host No. 6 Haynesville, a 60-34 winner over No. 11 Merryville, in the quarterfinals.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com