By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports
The Red River Athletic Conference men’s basketball championship will be settled in Shreveport this week, beginning tonight.
The 19th-ranked LSUS Pilots (20-6, 14-4) play tonight and Saturday afternoon at The Dock, and will finish in no worse than a first-place tie by sweeping Texas College (7:30 tonight) and Jarvis Christian (4 p.m. Saturday) – two of the worst teams in the league.
However, LSUS didn’t cruise past either last month on the road. The Pilots edged Texas College, now last in the RRAC, 81-79 and lost 93-86 at eighth-place Jarvis Christian.
LSUS is tied for the league lead with Texas A&M-Texarkana, forging the deadlock Feb. 2 with a homecourt 66-63 victory. A&M-Texarkana has a tougher path to holding serve if LSUS sweeps this week, visiting third-place Xavier tonight and ending against a tough Louisiana Christian team in Pineville on Saturday.
LSUS: The Pilots have the no-doubt RRAC Player of the Year, Woodlawn High product Jalen Brooks. The 6-5 senior leads the conference with averages of 23.9 points and 11.2 rebounds. Brooks is among three seniors to be honored before Saturday’s tipoff. Others are McNeese transfer Trey Johnson and Louisiana Tech transfer Stacey Thomas, who has started all but two of the Pilots’ games and is averaging 7.5 points.
Looking ahead: After wrapping up the regular season tonight and Saturday at home, LSUS goes to Alexandria’s Rapides Parish Coliseum to defend its 2022 RRAC Tournament championship beginning Feb. 24. The NAIA postseason begins March 7.
BOSSIER PARISH COMMUNITY COLLEGE: The Cavaliers (12-13, 4-11) snapped a five-game skid Wednesday night at home, topping Paris JC 87-78 at Billy Montgomery Gym. BPCC drained 30 of 33 at the line as Elijah Beard scored 22 and Kendrick Delahoussaye had 21 (sinking all 13 of his free throws).
Next game: The Cavaliers have four games remaining, two at home next Wednesday and March 1. They visit Trinity Valley CC Saturday at 4.
CENTENARY: The Gentlemen (17-7, 10-5) have won six of their last nine despite falling at Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference leader St. Thomas Tuesday night, 68-55. The Celts (22-2, 15-0) have clinched the league crown and are ranked 13th in Division III. Centenary is a half-game back of Trinity in the final week of the regular season, and split the regular-season series with the Tigers. The Gents, assured of being in the six-team field for the SCAC Tournament, can top their Division III (since 2012) high-water mark of 18 victories with two more.
Next game: Centenary finishes the regular season Sunday at Colorado College, aiming for a season sweep after a 63-58 homecourt win last month. The SCAC Tournament is Feb. 24-26 in San Antonio.
LSUS: The Lady Pilots (20-6, 14-4) have the same record as the LSUS men, but Texas A&M-Texarkana is unbeaten in the RRAC and has clinched the regular-season crown. The Lady Pilots have a two-game lead on third-place Louisiana Christian as they try to sweep season series with Texas College and Jarvis Christian. LSUS prevailed 66-58 on the road at TC and 71-65 in OT at Jarvis Christian last month.
Next games: LSUS is home this evening at 5:30 against Texas Christian, then at 2 Saturday afternoon at The Dock facing Jarvis Christian. On Senior Day, the Lady Pilots will honor five teammates: Tatum Barnes, Kiara Collins, Angel Reese, De’Azhia Smith and Chelsey White.
CENTENARY: The Ladies (3-21, 3-12) beat Austin College Feb. 4, 62-58, but were bounced 68-57 Tuesday at St. Thomas. Centenary is hitting only 31 percent overall and just 20 percent on 3-pointers. Two-thirds of the Ladies’ roster is made up of freshmen.
Last game: Sunday at Colorado College, which pounded Centenary 85-51 in the Gold Dome last month. The Ladies won’t make the SCAC Tournament.
Contact Doug at email@example.com