PHS wins ACHS tourney, WC nets runner-up spot in own tourney

Tryve Brackin
The parish trio, from left, of Plaquemine High’s Justin Randall, White Castle’s Randy Foster, and St. John’s Connor Case took part in holiday week basketball tournaments last week as regular season round ball began. WC was runner-up in its own tourney, while PHS took the ACHS tourney title, while SJHS played for third place honors.

Defending Class 1-A and tournament hosting White Castle High marched to the finals of their annual Bulldog boys’ basketball tournament last week only to run into powerful Class 4-A Istrouma High. The visiting Indians claimed the title with a 45-39 victory.

Meanwhile, only a few miles further down Hwy. 1 the 4-A Plaquemine High Green Devils, a future district rival of Istrouma, claimed the annual Ascension CHS Louis Frey Classic hoop title with a 56-39 triumph over Class B Hosanna Christian.

WCHS turned in one of its better showings in recent years in their always very competitive tourney that is stacked with strong upper classification competition. The Bulldogs battled off 3-A Port Allen High and 4-A Assumption before battling the Indians for the title.

Meanwhile, Plaquemine High claimed victories over 3-A St. Charles and 2-A St. James before forging a solid title victory win over a talented Hosanna Christian team. “Hosanna has athletes who are basketball players. They will be a test,” commented Coach Denny Wright as his Green Devils readied for the final contest.

Class 1-A St. John High played in the ACHS tourney as well and finished with a 1-2 record, falling in the consolation round by a 68-33 score to 2-A St. James following an opening round overtime one-point loss to tourney runner-up Hosanna and a victory over Catholic of Pointe Coupee.

Here is a rundown on the tourney action:

WC FINAL ROUND:

Losing by only six points to former Plaquemine High player and assistant Coach Marvin Dotson’s Istrouma club was an impressive start to the season for the defending champs due to the fact two of the club’s top returning players were in the state football playoffs up to a week before the tourney.

One was Isaac O’Bear, who paced the WCHS offense in the title game with 12 points. He was backed by Terrance Fair with 8 points and footballer Randy Foster with 7 points. Adding another 7 points was PHS transfer student Jarrian Jenkins.

Traditional 4-A hoop power and multiple WC tourney champion down through the years, Ellender High captured Third Place honors with a 76-50 rout of Port Allen High. Class 2-A Donaldsonville High edged out 3-A Brusly High for Consolation honors by a 59-54 score.

SECOND ROUND:

WCHS reached the title game with a 50-39 romp over Port Allen. Jenkins bagged 23 points to lead the Bulldog offense, while Fair netted 10 points and shared board duties with Jenkins and Foster, who added 7 points. O’Bear popped inn 6 points, while Jalen Bellock scored 4 points.

Istrouma reached the title game by winning a showdown with fellow 4-A traditional power Ellender, claiming a 56-52 victory.

Brusly’s Panthers eked out a 44-43 victory to send 4-A Assumption High out of the tourney field, while Donaldsonville topped 5-A Thibodaux High, giving them an early exit with a 58-52 victory.

FIRST ROUND: Hosting WCHS took a quick jump into regular season action with a rare early season victory over 4-A visitor Assumption High in the opening round.

The defending state 1-A champs turned back the visiting Mustangs by a 54-42 score with a strong finish. WC outscored the visitors 32-22 in the second half.

Veteran 6-5 forward Fair paced the Bulldog attack with a game-high 17 points, while Jenkins popped in 14 points.

In other first-round games, future 6-4A district frontrunner Istrouma turned back Thibodaux by a 69-49 score, while Port Allen won a future 3-A district and West Baton Rouge Parish rivalry contest by a 55-50 score over Brusly High. Former North Iberville High standout Nicholas Parker led the Pelicans to the PAHS victory over Brusly with a game-high 21 points. And 4-A Ellender High beat 2-A Donaldsonville High by a 61-44 score.

LOUIS FREY TOURNEY: Plaquemine continued to employ a defensive-minded game set and pulled away early, leading Hosanna by a 26-19 score at intermission, to win the tourney title match.

Senior Jesse Ward was a steady double-figure scorer for the PHS offense throughout the tourney and he popped in a game-high 13 points in the title game. Big sophomore Davon Godchaux banged the boards and came away with 11 points, while senior guard Warren Jordan matched him with 11 markers.

St. John fell behind 27-20 at halftime in the consolation battle with St. James, but the 2-A

Wildcats pulled away in the second half against the thin Eagle varsity squad. D’vante Williams led SJHS with 12 points, while Chris Bordelon hit for 10. Only three days prior the duo and other Eagles were on the football field in the state playoffs.

SECOND ROUND: PHS moved to a 2-0 start in the tourney with a second round 47-30 victory over St. Charles High. Also winning in the second round to even up their tourney mark at 1-1 was St. John High. The Eagles beat fellow 1-A Catholic of Pointe Coupee by a 52-40 score.

The PHS Green Devils rolled up a 20-11 first-half margin and coasted from there to victory with Justin Randall netted 12 points and Ward 11 markers to led the effort.

SJHS rallied in the second half with a 31-20 scoring margin to top CHSPC. Williams netted a game-high 18 points, while Bordelon was right behind him with 10 points.

In other second round tourney action, hosting ACHS topped CHSPC 59-56, while St. James eliminated Class B French Settlement with a 72-55 victory.

FIRST ROUND:  Plaquemine turned back St. James High by a 46-31 score to open tourney play, while St. John High suffered a narrow overtime 63-62 loss to Class B Hosanna Christian. And 3-A St. Charles High beat Class B French Settlement High by a 55-37 score.

PHS’ Ward scored exactly half of his team’s points to give the local 4-A club a victory in its regular season opener. Ward, a former North Iberville High standout, popped in 23 points, while he and his teammates kept all of the Wildcat cagers below double-figure scoring.

David Jones of Hosanna won a scoring leadership battle with St. John’s Williams to lead his team to the one-point overtime victory. Jones bagged a game-high 26 points, while Williams hit a team-high 22 to lead the local Eagles. Williams was back by fellow senior Connor Case, who added 13 points and first-year varsity hoopster Hayden Hemenway with 11 points. Only three days before the Eagle trio of Williams, Case, and Hemenway joined Williams and Bordelon playing football for the regional playoff SJHS gridiron team.

NOTE: East Iberville High’s Lady Tigers claimed a 2-1 record in the Inner City Classic girls’ hoop tourney last week. The Tigers tagged with a trio of upper classification foes in the tourney and held their own. They lost in the final round to 4-A Tara High by a 47-37 score.

East reached the final round with victories of 59-34 over 3-A Glen Oaks High and 48-41 over 4-A Istrouma.

EIHS veterans Kaithyn Knight and Kirstein Oubre led the way in the tourney with double-figure outings. Knight had a 19-point scoring effort in the opening win over Glen Oaks.