Postseason drawing near for area teams

Published 12:02 am Thursday, January 31, 2008

NATCHEZ — The prep basketball playoffs are just around the corner for a couple of local schools while many other local teams have several games left to determine seeding for postseason play.

The Natchez High Lady Bulldogs, 21-4 and ranked No. 5 in Class 5A, will be the No. 1 seed on the girls side of the Division 6-5A Tournament after going 5-1 in division play. However, that tournament doesn’t start until Feb. 12 at Wingfield High School in Jackson.

“We’re looking forward to it. That’s not as important as winning that first game of the tournament. I’d rather win the first game than be the number one seed and lose,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Sue Johnson said. “It helps. It gives you a better chance of getting to the next round, but you have to go out and play.”

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Johnson added that her team not playing Sicily Island on Friday night will help her players overcome some nagging ankle injuries.

“They’re coming along. We didn’t play Alia (Frank) and Koesha (Bradley) and Jennifer Jackson didn’t play very much (Tuesday) night. We hope to (have everyone at full strength) and that’s going to help us get our ankles stronger.”

The Natchez High Bulldogs, which finished 2-4 in division play, will be the No. 3 seed on the boys’ side of the bracket in this single-elimination tournament. The Bulldogs are 13-11 overall after Tuesday night’s come-from-behind win over Jefferson County.

The Huntington Hounds overcame a rough start to the season, but finished strong thanks to the return of Jody Cottongin as they took the No. 2 seed in next week’s MPSA District 6-A Tournament at Riverdale Academy in Coushatta, La., with a 6-2 record in East sub-district play.

“It looks like we will play winner of the Glenbrook-Claiborne Academy game. Riverdale’s winning that side and CENLA will be fourth. Football went a long way. We had a couple of kids quit. It took us a while to get a group to get together and stay together,” Hounds head coach David Boydstun said. “We’ve got nine guys who are learning about each other and making big plays. It (having Cottongin back) helped us. About the time he got back, we got settled with nine kids. He helped us offensively and defensively. He can score some. That’s not the main thing he does. And he’s got some senior leadership.”

Boydstun that the team to beat in the district tournament is Riverdale, but don’t count Huntington out of this one.

“Riverdale is real strong. They’re nine deep. They’ve got a lot of players back from last year,” Boydstun said. “We have to win our first ball game to get to go to the South State Tournament. We may get overlooked because our overall record is not that great. We’re a lot better team than we were early in the season. We might have a say in what goes on.”

The Lady Hounds finished 4-4 in District 6-A East sub-district play and will be the East sub-district’s No. 3 seed behind Tensas Academy and Tallulah Academy.

The Cathedral Green Wave and Lady Green Wave still have four games to go in Region 8-1A because of the third rescheduling of their games at home against Resurrection.

Green Wave head coach Peter Arnold said his team would have played as many games in region play as the other teams if Resurrection would have gone on and played them.

The Green Wave, 18-5 overall, is currently in second place in Region 8-1A with a 6-2 record after a big win over Dexter in overtime Tuesday night. West Lincoln is in first place with a 9-0 record in region play while Dexter and Bogue Chitto are tied for fourth at 6-4.

The Lady Green Wave, 9-14 overall, is in fourth place in region play with a 4-4 record. Bogue Chitto is in first place in region play with a 9-0 record, followed by West Lincoln at 7-2 and Salem at 6-3.

In MPSA District 3-AA, both of Trinity Episcopal’s teams are in first place while both of ACCS’s teams are at the bottom of the district standings.

The Trinity Episcopal Saints, ranked No. 2 in Class AA, are 20-3 overall and 7-0 in district play after having to rally in the fourth quarter to defeat Chamberlain-Hunt Tuesday night. The Lady Saints are 20-6 overall and 5-0 in district play, which includes an upset win on the road at then-undefeated Prairie View Academy. The Lady Saints and Lady Spartans will take on each other again on Feb. 5 at Trinity’s Clyde Adams Arena.

If both teams win out, they will be the district’s No. 1 seeds for the Class AA South State Tournament, which will take place Feb. 11-16. However, if Prairie View defeats Trinity and both teams finish with just one loss in the district, they will play an extra game at a neutral site to determine the district champion.

“I feel like if our kids keep playing like they’ve been playing we’ll be fine,” Lady Saints coach Melanie Hall said. “These games are huge coming up. Every game is vital.”

The ACCS Lady Rebels are 1-5 in district play and the Rebels are 0-6 in district play.

The Vidalia Vikings are also doing very well this season as they are 18-5 overall and in first place in District 3-3A with a 5-0 record.

Both of Ferriday’s teams are doing quite well this season – one under veteran head coach Lisa Abron and the other under first-year head coach K.G. Watkins.

The Lady Trojans, 26-5 overall, moved into a tie for first place with Lake Providence in District 2-2A with a 4-1 mark after routing the Lady Panthers by 23 points Tuesday night. The Trojans, 18-7 overall, are in first place by themselves in district play with a 5-0 record.

After the Lady Trojans’ win over the Lady Panthers Tuesday night, Abron said the two teams will end up having to play a tiebreaker game to determine the district’s No. 1 and No. 2 seeds for the Class 2A Playoffs.