By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports
Huntington and Bossier are the remaining local boys basketball squads hoping to post homecourt state quarterfinal playoff wins tonight and advance to next week’s Marsh Madness LHSAA state tournament in the Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles.
Huntington will go forward in the wake of Thursday’s shocking off-campus murder of starting guard Devin Myers, an honorable mention All-District 1-4A selection.
The Raiders are the No. 4 seed in the Class 4A bracket and will put a 21-5 record on the line at home at 6:30 p.m. against No. 5 seed Beau Chene, who is 27-6.
The Raiders have played in the Top 28 three times but not since 2009, when they were the state’s No. 1 team and made their second consecutive trip to the tournament as the top seed. Huntington is tasked with keeping a streak going that District 1 has built over the past six years of having a representative at the tournament. Bossier started the streak in 2016 and also went in 2019 while playing in Class 4A. Woodlawn made the trip in 2017, ‘18, ’20 and ‘21.
Huntington brings a seven-game win streak and averages 66.7 points per game while giving up 49.7. The Raiders defense is what really feeds their offense. In their second-round win Tuesday they broke open a game that was tied at the half with a series of steals for easy buckets, launching them on their way to tonight’s quarterfinal.
Senior point guard Rayshun McCullar leads the Raiders with a 22.2 points per game average and distributes 6.1 assists per game.
Beau Chene is the District 6 champ, going 7-1 in the district. Its only league loss was the final game of the regular season at district runner-up Opelousas, 63-60. That snapped a 14-game win streak by the Gators, who come into Friday’s game averaging 72.7 points per game and giving up 60.1.
The Gators are led by a couple of seniors in 6-foot-1 De’vondrake Arvie and 6-3 Titus Thomas. Arvie averages 20.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. Thomas has averages of 19.8 pointw, 5.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
Bossier also uses its defense to propel its offense. The Bearkats, the No. 2 seed in Class 3A, will host No. 10 Carroll of Monroe at 7 p.m.
Bossier is 26-7 and has won four straight after a non-district loss at Calvary. The Bulldogs are 15-14 and have won two straight since losing their final regular-season game at Woodlawn.
The Bearkats would like to return to the Top 28 after missing their chance last year to make it three trips in a row. Bossier has been to the tournament more than any other Shreveport-Bossier school (10 times) since 2005 and has 13 appearances total. The Bearkats went six consecutive times from 2009-14.
Bossier is led by 6-2 senior Joseph Manning and a pair of 6-6 seniors in Sedric Applewhite and Marquis Harris.
Photo by PRESTON EDWARDS
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