By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports
District 1-5A has produced the last three state champions in LHSAA Class 5A girls basketball and Parkway is a local favorite to continue the trend when the playoffs tip off Thursday.
The district will have all eight teams in the playoffs, with seven participating in the Class 5A bracket and Byrd in Select Division I.
The Lady Panthers carry a 29-2 record and the No. 2 ranking in the bracket and will host No. 31 seed Acadiana (19-14) in the first round Thursday.
Southwood (22-10) is an 11 seed and will host 22 seed Mandeville (18-13). Benton is next at No. 12 seed and hosts 21 seed West Ouachita (20-10). Airline (22-12), the 16 seed, is the only other home team from the district and will host 17 seed H.L. Bourgeois (16-8).
Haughton (17-11) is seeded 20th and will travel to play West Jefferson (20-7) while No. 26 seed Captain Shreve is on the road to face No. 7 Barbe (21-6).
Byrd is the eighth seed in Division I and will take its 11-16 record down south to face No. 1 seed John Curtis in the quarterfinals Thursday.
The district had six teams make last year’s 5A bracket with the Panthers being the highest local seed at No. 4. Parkway was eliminated in the 2021 quarterfinals by district rival Benton, who was a 12 seed and had already knocked another 1-5A school, Natchitoches Central, from the playoffs in the first round. The Lady Tigers went on to shock No. 1 seed Ponchatoula in the semifinals before falling to district rival Captain Shreve in the final.
Shreve was the No. 6 seed and the only team from 1-5A that advanced through the bottom part of the bracket on its way to its second state title in three years.
Benton was a two seed in 2020 when it defeated Ouachita in the finals for the Class 5A title. The Lady Tigers were the state runner-up in Class 4A the previous year. Captain Shreve was the three seed and lost to No. 19 seeded Natchitoches Central in the second round.
District 1-4A placed four teams in the 2022 Class 4A bracket. Last year’s state runner-up Huntington (17-6) is a five seed and will entertain 28 seed South Terrebonne (13-17). The Raiders are the only local 4A team at home in the first round while Booker T. Washington (18 seed), Northwood (19) and Woodlawn (25) take to the road. BTW (21-12) is at Peabody (15-15), Northwood (18-13) at Pearl River (20-10) and Woodlawn (15-14) will play at Salmen (18-9).
Bossier is a 24 seed in the Class 3A bracket and will travel to face No. 9 Loranger (18-6). Loyola is the only other 1-3A team to make the playoffs and is the No. 12 seed in Select Division III. The Flyers take a 15-13 record to play at No. 5 Ursuline Academy (19-12).
Plain Dealing is the only SB Journal team to make the Class 1A playoffs and will host district rival Haynesville. The Lions are 10-17 on the season and the No. 16 seed while the Golden Tornado sport a 9-18 mark and are the 17 seed.
All first round games will be played Thursday. The Select championships will be played the week of Feb. 21-26 at the Alario Center in Westwego. Non-Select championships are set for Feb. 28 through March 5 at the University Center In Hammond.