By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports
Huntington and Bossier advanced to the state semifinals being played this week in Lake Charles and with that will be playing some stiff competition. Both face teams that are no strangers to Marsh Madness and are amongst the best teams in the entire state.
Huntington, coming off an emotional quarterfinal win Friday over Beau Chene, will now take its No. 4 seeding in the Class 4A bracket against No. 1 seed George Washington Carver of New Orleans. The Rams bring a 31-5 record into Wednesday’s noon tipoff at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles.
Carver is one of he top teams in any class, not just 4A. MaxPreps ranks them third behind Zachary (the top seed in 5A) and Madison Prep (top seed in 3A). The Rams are only one of two teams to beat Zachary and they later beat the only two in-state teams to have beaten them, Edna Karr and McMain. They also own two wins over Madison Prep, the top-seeded team in the Class 3A playoff bracket.
One of Carver’s out-of-state losses came at the hands of Duncanville (Texas), which is ranked No. 2 in the entire country by MaxPreps. Other out-of-state losses were to teams from Nevada and Arkansas.
The Rams are on a 16-game win streak that includes Karr, McMain, Scotlandville, Madison Prep twice and Bossier. Carver is led by a couple of seniors in 6-foot-7 Solomon Washington and 6-5 Dorian Finister. Washington averages 14.9 points and 10.9 rebounds a game. Finister averages 12.1 points and 7.0 rebounds. As a team they average 65.5 points and allow 48.4 per game.
This will be Carver’s third consecutive trip to the semifinals. Last year the Rams fell to McMain in the title game, 49-48.
Bossier returns to the semifinals after a one-year hiatus. The Bearkats, 27-7 on the season and the No. 2 seed in the Class 3A bracket, will play third-seeded Wossman at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. The Wildcats bring a 29-6 record and are the third team from Monroe and District 2 that the Bearkats will have met in the playoffs. Bossier defeated Richwood in the first round 83-41 and Carroll in the quarterfinals 60-47.
Wossman is very familiar with Marsh Madness, having made the trip each of the last six seasons. The Wildcats played for the state championship four times in that span, finishing as the state runner-up each time. One of those runner-up finishes came the last time Bossier and Wossman played each other in the playoffs. The Bearkats defeated the Wildcats in the 2020 3A championship, 62-61. Wossman’s other losses in the 3A finals came in 2019, 2017 and 2016.
Wossman opened this year’s playoffs with a first-round win over Sterlington, 63-46. It defeated Booker T. Washington of New Orleans in the regionals 88-60 and St. Martinville 72-46 in the quarterfinals.
Wossman averages 66.2 points and gives up 49.4 per game.
Photo by JOHN PENROD