Placid Refinery basketball jamboree set for Thursday

PETER SILAS PASQUA news@postsouth.com

The 2012-13 basketball season will officially get under way when Plaquemine High School hosts the Placid Refinery Iberville Parish Basketball Jamboree on Thursday.

Each game will consist of two 10-minute halves and there will be a 10-minute warm up period before each game and a five-minute halftime.

"We are looking forward to hosting the jamboree this year and we would like everybody to come out and support us while getting a chance to see what the parish has to offer basketball-wise," Plaquemine coach Kirby Loupe said. "You have some teams with rich traditions in the area and you can get an example of basketball throughout the parish in one stop."

Basketballs and water will be provided for all teams. The team listed first will wear white uniforms. There will be a hospitality room for coaches and officials.

St. John's girls' team will face East Iberville to open the jamboree at 5 p.m. followed by Plaquemine's girls vs. White Castle at 5:45 p.m.

St. John's boys then face East Iberville at 6:30 p.m. before Plaquemine's boys tangle White Castle in the finale at 7:15 p.m.

There are a total of five coaches returning this season including East Iberville boys coach Doug Schultz and girls coach Cormanda Grace Green, Plaquemine girls coach Brannon Dillon, White Castle girls coach Tammy Pierce and St. John girls coach Chase Mancuso, who takes over for Vincent Argrave after coaching the school's boys team last year.

Incoming coaches this year include Plaquemine boys coach Loupe, who takes over for Denny Wright; White Castle boys coach Troy Green, who replaces multiple state championship winning Ronald Johnson and St. John boys coach Kade Thibodeaux.

"We are excited about the season," Green said. "These are some big shoes I have to fill. Coach Ronald Johnson is somebody that is an icon in this area. He did such a great job and I am just trying to keep the program running.

"The main thing is just trying to keep everything going as smooth as possible. It has been a transition and we are going to be fairly young especially right now because we have some football players out."

White Castle advanced to the Class 1A state championship game for the second consecutive season a year ago falling to Christian Life 66-60 after winning the title in 2011 with a 66-65 victory over Southern Lab and have advanced to at least the quarterfinals in each of the last six seasons.

East Iberville also advanced to the regionals last year with a 62-55 victory over Cedar Creek before being ousted by North Central a year after advancing to the quarterfinals for three consecutive seasons.

Plaquemine fell to Ellender 54-44 in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs last season but have advanced to the postseason in each of the past six seasons and gone as far as the semifinals in consecutive seasons beginning in 2008.

"I am new to the kids here but it has been a really good transition," Loupe said. "I think the kids are buying into what we are trying to do and we are off to a good start.

"We have a lot of young kids but they have a lot of talent as well so we just have to bring them along. I am excited about the opportunity and I think you will see some good things in the future from this basketball program."

St. John last made the postseason in 2009 falling to St. Thomas Aquinas in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.

On the girls' side, East Iberville advanced to the regionals last season before falling to Vermilion Catholic after making the postseason for the second consecutive season.

Plaquemine and White Castle each lost in the first round last year to Wossman and Tensas. The Lady Bulldogs have made the postseason every year for over a decade having advanced as far as the semifinals in 2011.

St. John last made the playoffs in 2011 falling to West St. John in the first round.

Plaquemine defeated Brusly 56-44 in a Hall of Fame game last Thursday to open the season and were led by 6-5 sophomore Devonte Marshall with 14 points.

The Green Devils will also take on St. Charles Catholic on Dec. 5 in the New Orleans Arena. Deadline to purchase tickets for $36 at the school is Friday. Price includes Hornets' game.