Teams prepare for playoffs as regular season closes

By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports

The district season continues for one more date for a couple of districts, but all have decided their champions and games are more or less to prepare for the coming playoffs.

LHSAA playoff pairings will be announced Monday with the games beginning the end of the week. A smattering of games will be played Saturday for teams to maybe improve on their power ratings but more importantly stay sharp and ready since the playoffs will be a week away. Teams with a rating of 16 or better will have a home playoff date in the first round.

District 1-5A has a normal, last playing date schedule and 1-4A has a couple of games.

Captain Shreve, the 1-5A champion, will take a 24-5 overall record and 12-1 district mark to Haughton and play the Bucs who are 15-14, 3-10. The Gators defeated Natchitoches Central in overtime 46-41 Tuesday to clinch the title while Haughton fell to Parkway 71-62.

Airline, the third-place team at 9-4 in district and 15-9 overall, will be at Benton (11-22, 4-9). The Vikings have a power ranking of 34.78 that puts them at No. 17 in Class 5A, just below Mandeville (21-11) who has a rating of 36.29. The Skippers have a non-district game with Covington (6-23) left on their schedule.

Southwood (15-16, 8-5) the fourth place in 1-5A will be at home and play Byrd (13-13, 5-8). The Cowboys are currently a 23 seed so they will be traveling the first round of the playoffs, but it could mean a difference in the bracket whether they are in the upper or lower part. Seeds 22 and 23 are in the lower and 24, 25 the upper.

Second-place Natchitoches (21-6, 10-3) will play host to Parkway (6-19, 1-12). The Chiefs are No. 7 in the rankings with Captain Shreve at No. 8. If those stay the same the two schools would be in opposite sides of the bracket.

District 1-4A champion Huntington (18-5, 10-1) is at home for their final regular season game against North DeSoto (3-19, 0-11). The Raiders have a power ranking of 5 in 4A and would host a team from south Louisiana the first round.

Woodlawn (24-9, 8-3) is coming off a big win over Evangel (44-40) and hosts Minden (5-24, 2-10) with a chance to finish in a tie for second place with Booker T. Washington. The Knights are assured a home playoff game the first round with a ranking of 9.

Bossier finished off its fourth consecutive undefeated district season Tuesday at 8-0 in 1-3A and takes a 23-7 mark to Monroe to face Neville. The Tigers are the District 2-4A champs (4-0) and have an overall record of 24-6. Bossier is ranked No. 2 in Class 3A while Neville is No. 6 in 4A.

Another non-district game has Northwood (14-15) playing at Plain Dealing (4-18). The Falcons are clinging on to a shot at the playoffs with a ranking of 32 which is the last spot on the bracket.