Bossier High coach Jeremiah Williams has put together another strong field for the 74th annual Bossier Invitational boys basketball tournament.
The 16-team tournament begins Thursday with four first-round games at Bossier High and four at BPCC.
Williams’ Bearkats head into the tournament looking for their third straight title and fifth in the last six years.
Bossier downed Natchitoches Central 43-25 in last year’s championship game.
All four 2012 semifinalists are back this year. The other two were Captain Shreve and Byrd.
This year’s tournament also includes a team from Chicago, Orr Academy, that reached the Illinois Class 3A Final Four last season.
Bossier (8-6), which lost to eventual runner-up North Webster 60-55 in the quarterfinals of the “Doc” Edwards Invitational last week, is in a very tough semifinal bracket that includes Byrd (14-1) and Huntington (13-1).
Huntington suffered its first loss of the season, 70-66, to eventual champion Richwood in the “Doc” Edwards’ semifinals.
The Raiders and the Yellow Jackets could meet in the quarterfinals Friday night at 8 at Bossier.
The Bearkats face a challenge in the first round against Neville (8-3) Thursday.
The Bossier-Neville winner faces the winner of a first-round game between Green Oaks (6-8) and Louisiana New Tech at Plain Dealing (8-5) in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Natchitoches Central is off to an 11-2 start this season
The Chiefs take on defending District 1-5A champion in the first round. The Gators are just 6-6, but they almost knocked off Richwood in the “Doc” Edwards, losing 70-68 on a last second-shot.
Airline (6-8) faces Orr Academy in the first round.
Parkway (5-5), which won the “Doc” Edwards consolation title, meets Mansfield (6-7).