High school girls basketball: Parish 1-5A teams finally get back on the court Sunday for first-round playoff games

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The Parkway Lady Panthers, Benton Lady Tigers and Airline Lady Vikings will try to advance to second round of the Class 5A girls basketball playoffs Sunday.

Defending state champion and No. 12 seed Benton (13-6) hosts District 1-5A rival and No. 21 Natchitoches Central (11-8) at 4 p.m.

Parkway (16-3), the No. 4 seed, hosts No. 29 Live Oak (18-7) at 2.

Airline (13-14), the No. 25 seed, visits Hahnville (16-3) at 3.

The Class 1A game between No. 13 Plain Dealing (7-9) and No. 20 Arcadia (5-12) at Plain Dealing has been postponed until Monday at 4.

Benton hasn’t played since Jan. 26 and Parkway hasn’t played since Jan. 27. Cancellations were due to both COVID-19 issues and the subsequent desire to take precautions to avoid them heading into the playoffs.

Benton has had a long run of success in the playoffs.

Last season was the Lady Tigers’ first in Class 5A. Benton reached the Class 4A finals in 2019 and the semifinals in 2018. Senior guard Jada Anderson, a ULM signee, has been a big part of that success all four seasons.

Both of Benton’s scheduled District 1-5A games against Natchitoches Central were canceled. The Lady Tigers defeated the Lady Chiefs 63-39 in the semifinals last season.

Parkway lost in the second round last season. Before that, the Lady Panthers had made the playoffs only once in the previous eight seasons.

Parkway is led by sophomore Mikaylah Williams and freshman Chloe Larry.

Live Oak, a member of District 4-5A, is also coming off a long layoff. The Lady Eagles, who won six of their last seven, haven’t played since Jan. 26.

If the Lady Panthers and Lady Tigers win their first two games, they will face off in the quarterfinals.

Airline won 13 games despite playing the entire season without injured two-time All-Parish guard Kayla Hampton.

Toria Brocks and Kori Rice have both had solid seasons.

Hahnville, a member of District 7-5A, has gone 15-1 since losing two of its first three games. The Lady Tigers closed the regular season with seven straight wins.