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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Girls basketball lookahead

Last week, I analyzed local and area teams' chances in the the second round of the girls high school basketball playoffs. I'll analyze the quarterfinals in a bit, but first let me analyze how I did.

In Class 5A, I said Southwood and Ruston would advance. They did. I said Airline would have a tough game against second-ranked Ellender but I wouldn't bet against the Lady Vikes. Airline lost, but it was by seven points.

In Class 4A, I said Parkway would have to bring its "A" game to beat Carroll. Apparently, the Lady Panthers did. I said Bossier would have a much tougher game than their first-round game. They did and lost.

In Class 3A, I said Mansfield would have a great opportunity to advance. The Lady Wolverines won easily. I said Benton would need a great effort in Monroe against Wossman. They may have gotten it, but it wasn't enough.

In Class 2A, I said Homer and Loyola faced uphill battles. Loyola lost but gave Many a game. Homer, though, had a surprisingly easy time against second-ranked Ouachita Christian.

In Class 1A, I was noncommital. But Evangel continued to roll past higher-ranked teams, knocking off Vermilion Catholic. I also said Plain Dealing had a very winnable game but it wasn't, as Plain Dealing lost.

Now on to the quarterfinals.

In Class 5A, I fully expect Southwood to get to the Ladies' (should be Girls) Top 28. Southwood has won nine state titles in the last 12 years. Dutchtown, ranked sixth in the final poll, has only existed for five years. The other quarterfinal with area interest pits two teams, Ruston and Mt. Carmel, which weren't even ranked in the final poll. I look for Ruston to win to set up an all-North Louisiana semifinal.

In Class 4A, the road dosn't get any easier for Parkway. The Lady Panthers travel to Baton Rouge to take on District 6-4A champ Glen Oaks, the fourth-ranked team in final poll. If this game was at Parkway, I'd go with the Lady Panthers. But since it's in Baton Rouge, I'll have to pick Glen Oaks. I hope I'm wrong, though, because this group of Parkway seniors deserve a trip to Hammond and the state tournament.

In Class 3A, Mansfield must travel to play fourth-ranked Marksville, which has lost only twice all season. Again, if Mansfield had a home game, I might to with them. But I'm afraid beating Marksville on the road is too much to ask. But I said earlier that Mansfield would be a team to watch. Maybe they can pull the upset.

In Class 2A, I'm afraid Homer's season will end at top-ranked Iota, which has won 41 straight games since losing to Many by three in last year's state title game. I look for Many, though, to advance to the state tourney for the third straight year.

In Class 1A, at least one area team will be going to the Top 28 as District 1-1A Evangel and Arcadia face off at Arcadia. Both teams have been playing well in the playoff.
Arcadia won both regular-season meetings but by less than 10 points each time, and it's hard to beat a good team three times in one season. But the game is at Arcadia, so I'm going with ... Evangel in an upset.


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