Four Bossier Parish teams play first-round games Thursday night in the LHSAA high school girls basketball playoffs.
While three of the teams are on the road, one doesn’t have to travel far.
The No. 17 seed Bossier Lady Kats (14-15) will head across the Red River to face the No. 16 seed Woodlawn Lady Knights (16-9) at 7.
It’ll be the second game between the District 1-4A rivals in less than a week. Last Friday, the Lady Knights edged the Lady Kats 62-59 in the regular-season finale at Woodlawn.
Bossier led 42-40 going into the fourth quarter. Destiny Thomas, who has been a standout all season for coach Deshawn Williams’ Lady Kats, scored 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Kelcee Marshall added 17.
Woodlawn also defeated Bossier 60-47 in the first district meeting on Jan. 17 at Bossier.
In another Class 4A first-round game, No. 25 Benton (17-14) visits No. 8 Carencro (18-8) at 6.
The Lady Tigers won 17 games and made the playoffs with a lineup of sophomores and freshman. Sophomore Emily Ward, a first-team All-Parish selection last season, and freshman Qua Chambers led Benton in scoring during the regular season.
In Class 5A, No. 30 seed Airline (14-14) visits No. 3 Destrehan (30-0) at 6. Like Benton, the Lady Vikings have a young lineup.
Airline faces a formidable task. Destrehan features 5-foot-7 guard Cara Ursin, the two-time state Gatorade Player of the Year and first-team All-State selection. She has signed with Baylor.
Plain Dealing, the No. 13 seed in Class 1A, is the only parish team hosting a first-round game. The Lady Lions (14-11) face District 1-1A rival and No. 20 seed Haynesville (11-13) at 6:30.
Plain Dealing swept Haynesville in district play, defeating the Lady Tors 60-46 on Dec. 20 in Haynesville and 44-41 on Jan. 24 at home.
The Lady Lions have played well down the stretch, winning nine of their last 11. Their only losses were to defending state champion Arcadia. Last Friday, Plain Dealing came close to stopping Arcadia’s 24-game winning streak, falling 39-36 at home.
Arcadia (26-2) is the No. 1 seed in Class 1A.
Plain Dealing is yet another team that has a youthful lineup. Froward Dra Briggs, who has had a very good season, is the only senior.
Juniors Hershey Stumon and Teunna Perry and freshman Laterrica Stewart have all helped carry the scoring load.
This is the first season with the playoffs split between select (mainly private, magnet) and non-select (public) schools.
Seven state champions will be crowned in the traditional classes (5A-A). Five more will be crowned in Divisions I-V.
Football has had the split in place for four years.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com