High school boys basketball: Bossier routs defending champ Carencro in 4A semifinals

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Same song, fourth verse for the Bossier Bearkats.

Top-seeded Bossier won its fourth straight game going away in the Class 4A boys basketball playoffs Tuesday night, routing No. 5 seed and defending state champion Carencro 67-39 in the Class 4A semifinals at McNeese State’s Burton Coliseum in Lafayette.

Bossier (32-3) faces No. 3 Breaux Bridge (32-5) for the state title on Friday at 8 p.m. Breaux Bridge defeated No. 2 Leesville 56-33 in its semifinal game.

The Bearkats will be looking for their fourth state title overall and third since 2011. Bossier is in the finals for the first time since 2016 when they won the championship.

Bossier’s average margin of victory in its four playoff games is an incredible 39.25 points.

“We’re just proud to still be playing and have a shot at a championship,” Bossier coach Nick Bohanan said.

The Bearkats didn’t get off to a great start, missing several 3-pointers early. But Otis Smith finally nailed a couple back-to-back.

Smith’s baskets sparked the Bearkats, who began forcing turnovers with their usual pressure defense and turning those into points.

Bossier led 20-6 after a quarter and 42-18 at the half.

“I just think it was just our constant pressure, just stayed on them,” Bohanan said. “In the first half, we tried to just wear them down. They got tired. It’s hard to run that whole time if you’re not used to it.”

A couple of Bearkats got into early foul trouble, but Bossier’s superior depth meant it didn’t hurt as much as it would some other teams.

“Not many folks can do what we do and play the style we play because you have to worry about foul trouble,” Bohanan said. “We’ve been very fortunate it hasn’t been an issue. The guys have bought into it and trust each other and know there is not going to be much of a dropoff.”

Bossier never really got the shots to fall consistently from the outside, shooting 25 percent (5 of 25) from 3-point range. But they got many easy baskets off their fast break started by strong defensive play.

Smith and Xavien Beasley led Bossier with 13 points each. Kaalas Roots added 12. Dante Bell, a 6-foot-8 forward who picked up two quick fouls, scored all nine of his points in the third quarter.

Jacoby Decker scored eight points. Janyron Rogers and Cody Deen had five each.

“We were pretty balanced I thought,” Bohanan said. “We had some guys come off the bench and hit some big shots when they got in there. They typically do.”

Joseph Charles was Carencro’s only player in double figures with 12 points. The Bears, who didn’t have a returning starter from their 2018 championship team, finished 24-11.