For the Bossier Bearkats, it wasn’t how they started Tuesday night but how they finished.
Bossier, the No. 1 seed, fell behind No. 16 Morgan City 11-0 in their Class 4A boys basketball second-round game. But the Bearkats outscored the Tigers by 37 points the rest of the way en route to a 69-43 victory at Bossier.
Bossier (30-3) will host No. 9 Franklin Parish (27-6) in the quarterfinals Friday. The Patriots defeated No. 8 Woodlawn of Baton Rouge 51-48 in the second round.
Morgan City closed its season 16-14.
In a Class 1A second-round game, the Plain Dealing Lions’ season came to an end with a 69-58 loss to No. 3 seed Jonesboro-Hodge (26-5) in Jonesboro. Plain Dealing, the No. 14 seed, finished its first season under head coach Trevor Bernard 16-10.
Bossier coach Nick Bohanan said he’s just happy that the Bearkats are still playing. Last year, Bossier went into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed and was upset by No. 18 McDonogh No. 35 80-78 in the second round in New Orleans.
“I told the boys we waited 365 days to get back to this point,” Bohanan said. “Now we’ve got to finish what we started last year. We’re at the quarterfinals so now we’ve got to break through the quarterfinals and get an opportunity to make it back down to the (state tournament).
“For us to achieve our ultimate goal that’s what we’ve got to do. Just excited and blessed to still be playing basketball, really. I know we’re going to have a tough matchup in here Friday.”
Bohanan wasn’t too worried when his team got down early. After all, he knows how quickly the Bearkats can score especially when they start forcing turnovers with their defensive quickness.
“I think we came out with just nerves,” he said. “We were shooting the ball over the goal, stuff like that. It happens. You get a little excited, big game.”
It didn’t take long for the Bearkats to shake off the nerves.
Bossier tied it at 15 on a long 3-pointer by Jacoby Decker. That started a 15-4 run that put the Bearkats on top by 11.
But the Tigers rallied and were very much in it at the half, trailing 33-29.
“In the first half, part of our plan was to wear them down,” Bohanan said. “I knew they were going to get some buckets. I knew as long as we kept it close or even were down a little bit I felt like we’d be good in the second half.
“They only played six people so I was trying to wear them down so it would be easier to guard them in the second half. They had five really good ones. They weren’t real big. In the second half, it appeared we did kind of wear them down a little bit. Their legs were kind of gone.”
Senior guard Xavien Beasley, who picked up a couple of fouls early and sat most of the first half, scored 15 of his game-high 26 points in the third quarter.
Beasley had his own personal 10-0 run, part of a 23-4 run that gave Bossier a 56-33 lead late in the third quarter.
“That’s the thing about this team,” Bohanan said. “I’ve got so many guys that on any given night can step up and make it their night. I think that’s what makes this team special and hard to defend because you’ve got so many guys who can really play.”
Bossier’s Kaalas Roots scored 15 points. Decker and Dante Bell added 10 each.
Deondre Grogan led Morgan City with 21 points.