Updated: Bossier boys basketball tournament loses fourth team to Covid
The spike in COVID-19 cases across Northwest Louisiana has had a dramatic effect on the 82nd Annual Bossier Boys Invitational, one of the oldest continuously running tournaments in the state.
Established in 1940, the event has attracted as many as 16 teams, including teams from places like Chicago, in the past. But the 2022 version that will tip off Thursday in the Bearkats’ gym will have just three teams as of Thursday morning after Mansfield became the latest team to pull out. Homer, Calvary and Bossier will play each other Thursday and Saturday.
Richwood, North Caddo, Red River and Mansfield dropped out due to Covid quarantines, while Evangel dropped out due to scheduling too many games this week, according to Bossier coach Nick Bohanan.
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“Richwood pulled out yesterday and North Caddo today,” Bohanan said. “The once proud Bossier Tournament is struggling to put together a field.”
Bohanan said area Class 4A and 5A teams can’t play in the tournament due to having district games on Friday. Major tournaments in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Monroe this weekend also limit the available programs willing to play the No. 2 Class 3A Bearkats (11-5) on their home court.
“There were times in the past when we had to turn teams away,” Bohanan said. “I called every school I could think of trying to find more teams. I just hope the rest of it stays together. We may look at moving the tournament up earlier in the season.”
Each of the four remaining teams are rated in the top 13 statewide in their classification, including the Cavaliers (8-6), who are No. 2 in Division IV.
Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.
82nd Bossier Invitational schedule
6 p.m. — Homer vs. Bossier
6 p.m. — Calvary vs. Bossier