By PRESTON EDWARDS, Journal Sports
No one can ever accuse the Bossier Bearkats of ducking competition. Their perennially tough schedule assures that they are battle-tested when they enter the playoffs.
There is something about the season finale with Neville, however.
Creepy things seem to happen to the Bearkats when they play Neville to finish the season. Two years ago in a win, they lost forward D’ante Bell to an ACL tear. Last year, Neville came to their house and beat them.
So, entering the 2021-22 regular season finale, in Monroe, against the fifth-rated team in Class 4A, the Bearkats might have been a little leery.
Playing in their green uniforms, Bossier withstood a 44 point onslaught by guard Patrick McCraney and left Neville with a 85-76 victory in overtime.
Coach Nick Bohanan definitely saw a silver lining in the win.
“Anytime you can come to Monroe and get a win is big,” Bohanan said. “We played terrible in our last two games against Calvary and Mansfield. We had a little adversity tonight but this win gives us a better taste in our mouth heading into the playoffs.”
A little adversity was right as McCraney, who scored 32 of his 44 points in the second half, looked as if he and his senior teammates were going to snatch a victory from the Bearkats paws.
The Bossier defense was key in getting them to the overtime session as it got three turnovers in a row and converted them into points after they went down by five. On the final possession, the Bossier guards double-teamed McCraney with 2.5 seconds left and forced him into a 30-footer that went awry.
Joseph Manning, who scored a team high of 27, was clutch in the extra session scoring the first five points. He finished the Tigers off by going 13-of-15 from the charity stripe enroute to scoring 17 in overtime.
Manning had help on Friday night as he was one of four double-figure scorers for Bossier. Marquis Harris had a big game in the paint rebounding and scoring. He finished with 18 points. Javon Johnson and Tahj Roots found the range from deep while playing excellent man-to-man defense. Each guard scored 16 for the Bearkats.
Bossier finishes the regular season at 24-7 and is the No. 2 team in the Class 3A power ratings. Neville also finishes their regular season with a record of 24-7.
Photo by PRESTON EDWARDS