The Bossier Bearkats won the battle of defending boys basketball state champions Tuesday night at Bossier.
Bossier, the defending Class 4A state champ, pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 48-35 victory over defending Class 5A state champ Natchitoches Central.
The Bearkats (20-4) also avenged a 56-51 loss to the Chiefs (19-5) on Nov. 23 in Natchitoches.
Bossier got off to a slow start and trailed 10-5 after the first quarter. The Bearkats rallied in the second quarter and the game was tied at 16 at the half. Bossier led 28-25 going into the fourth.
In Saturday’s 38-36 loss to Fair Park in the finals of the Bossier Invitational, a dismal shooting performance in the fourth quarter cost the Bearkats.
They made up for it against Natchitoches Central, scoring 20 points in the final period.
Senior post player Chris Davenport scored seven of his game-high 13 points in the quarter. Tybo Wimberly, Jacoby Decker, Tyrese English, Antonio Davis and Aberrion Johnson also scored in the fourth.
English, who hit two 3-pointers in the third quarter, finished with nine points. Wimberly added eight and Kalaas Roots seven.
Over the final three quarters, the Bearkats outscored the Chiefs 43-25.
Natchitoches Central senior guard Brandon Rachal, an LSU signee, scored eight points. Brian White and CJ Carpenter led the Chiefs with nine points each.
In District 1-5A games Tuesday, the Airline Vikings held off Captain Shreve 69-64 at Airline and the Parkway Panthers defeated the host Haughton Bucs 68-44. In District 1-1A, the Plain Dealing Lions routed Cedar Creek 70-31 in Plain Dealing
At Airline, senior forward KJ Bilbo led the Vikings with 19 points. Fred Lemons added 16 and Trent Ivy 14.
After going scoreless in the first half, Ivy pumped in nine points in the third quarter as Airline turned a six-point deficit into a 10-point lead.
The Gators started getting some easy baskets early in the fourth quarter and rallied, taking a 61-60 lead with 3:25 left in the game.
It was tied at 62 with 1:41 left. The Gators missed a one-handed floater inside the lane and a tie ball on the rebound went to the Vikings.
Bilbo scored inside to put Airline ahead 64-62 with 1:14 left. The Gators missed again and Bilbo got the rebound. Ivy hit one of two free throws to give the Vikings a 3-point edge with 47.2 seconds left.
Shreve missed inside the lane and Ivy made two free throws with 11.4 seconds left.
Lemons scored 10 points in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter.
Airline went to the free throw line 52 times in the game but made just 25. Shreve was 20 of 28.
Two Gators fouled out, including starter Colyn Givens late in the third quarter. Five Shreve players finished with four fouls. Graham Smith led the Gators with 20 points. Isadore Pryor, who also fouled out, added 15.
Airline improved to 14-5 overall and 3-0 in 1-5A. Shreve dropped to 10-11 and 1-2.
At Haughton, Justin Rogers led Parkway to the victory with 19 points. Robert McKnight and Derrick Mitchell added 10 each. D’Marcus Hall led Haughton with 12. Starsky Willis added 11.
Parkway improved to 10-5 and 2-1. In the other 1-5A game, Evangel Christian edged Byrd 58-57.
Airline is the only team without a district loss. Evangel and Southwood are 1-1. Byrd is 1-2. Haughton is 0-2.
At Plain Dealing, the Lions improved to 5-7 overall and 3-2 in district with the win.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com