The Bossier Bearkats are headed back to the state tournament.
Bossier (31-3), the No. 1 seed, routed the Franklin Parish Patriots 72-30 in the Class 4A quarterfinals Friday night in front of a packed house at Bossier.
The Bearkats will face No. 5 seed and defending state champion Carencro in the semifinals Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles. The game is part of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boys’ Marsh Madness state tournament.
Carencro (24-10) defeated No. 20 Livonia 70-52 in its quarterfinal game.
The Bossier-Carencro winner faces the winner between No. 2 Leesville (31-3) and No. 3 Breaux Bridge (31-5) for the Class 4A title at 8 Friday.
Franklin Parish, the No. 9 seed, closed its season 27-7.
Bossier is making its first trip to the state tournament since 2016 when the Bearkats won the state title.
“We talked (Thursday),” Bohanan said. “I just told them I feel like the state tournament is the pinnacle of high school basketball in the state of Louisiana and I just wanted all those seniors to have the opportunity to experience it.
“Only one got to experience it the last time we were down there and that was Jacoby Decker. I said win, lose or draw it’s just a great experience. I wish everybody that played would get a chance to. I think it’s a really neat deal and we’re excited to be headed back.”
Bossier jumped out to a 13-0 lead Friday night. That was a stark difference from Tuesday’s second-round game against Morgan City when the Bearkats trailed 11-0.
“We were a little more focused,” Bossier second-year head coach Nick Bohanan said. “I told ‘em it gets harder every round. They were going to be a typical Monroe-(area) team. They were going to be physical.
“I told ‘em Tuesday I felt like (Morgan City) just came out hungrier than we were. We wanted to come out as hungry as the other team if not hungrier. Having eight seniors, I told ‘em win or lose it’s your last game here at Bossier, so I think they had a little extra incentive. They were excited all day to play the game. It was nice to get off to a much better start.”
The Patriots rallied briefly and Bossier led 15-7 after a quarter. The Bearkats extended the lead to 39-18 at the half.
Bossier ended any suspense there might have been with an 18-3 run in the third quarter.
The Bearkats have played man defense all season. Bohanan said they have been working on a zone in practice some and he decided to use it in the third quarter.
“The first possession I just said let’s see how they handle it,” he said. “I think it kind of threw them for a loop. In the first half we were pressuring full court and in the half court and at halftime I’m sure they went in and made some adjustments.
“When they came out I kind of noticed they didn’t know what to do what to do with it. I said, ‘Let’s just stay with it.’ ”
Kaalas Roots led eight Bearkats who scored with 18 points. Decker added 16 and Xavien Beasley had 10.
Beasley scored eight in the first quarter, and Decker had nine in the second. Roots scored six in the second and nine in the third before heading to the bench to make way for reserves.