By PRESTON EDWARDS, Journal Sports
During the high school season, the month of February has traditionally been set up for district contests to prepare teams for the playoffs. Now, the Saturday classics have become a staple in February basketball as power ratings have become part of teams focus as they jockey for playoff seeding.
Woodlawn is the latest team to host one of these Saturday basketball gems as they prepare to host the likes of Captain Shreve, Opelousas and Lakeview in their inaugural Battle of the Boot Classic.
Coach Kenneth Goldman, the Knights head coach, has been itching for an opportunity like this.
“I had this idea in the spring before the event at Calvary came together to host various teams,” said Goldman. “Teams down south host various classics and I wanted to do something like that.”
For his first foray into hosting a February classic, the lineup that will take the floor Saturday is an impressive one.
Calvary Baptist and Mansfield will begin the Battle of the Boot Classic. The Wolverines could use a rankings boost with a win as they are presently ranked 16th in Class 3A. While they are projected to have a first-round home game, Madison Prep looms as a second-round opponent. A signature win against the second rated team in Division IV could go a long way. Labree Williams and the Cavs will have something to say about that.
Woodlawn will close out the night against the top team in Class 2A, Lakeview. Coach Goldman looks forward to the challenge on Saturday night.
“The teams we play are usually teams who are bigger than us,” Goldman said. “This game will give us a chance to play a team our size. We will have to match their intensity, however.”
Lakeview is currently on an 8-game win streak and has defeated Peabody and Carencro while going undefeated in district. They are 9-2 during the season against teams in 4A and 5A. So, the Gators will be one of the tougher tests Woodlawn has had all season.
The other contests during the Battle of the Boot are not slouches either. BTW will play the Gators of Northwood-Lena. They are the No. 2 team in Class 1A and have a battle-tested trio who played in Marsh Madness last season. The Lions will look to ride the momentum from their district win over Evangel in this one.
1-5A district leader Captain Shreve will play a talented Opelousas team who is slotted as the 14th ranked team in 4A. They just had an 8-game win streak of their own snapped by Beau Chene and will be looking to take down the Gators from Shreveport. The Shreve senior trio of Davieon Coleman, Kyron Reed and Christian Ford will be looking to make it 14 wins in their last 15.
The cost of admission to the Battle of the Boot Classic is $10 and the first game will tip at 2:30 p.m. All games are weather permitting.
Photo by Preston Edwards