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Wolves begin Marsh Madness Friday night

Monterey will take the court for the first time since February 9 in a first round playoff game against Lacassine on Friday night at 6 p.m.

Head coach Eric Richard said the game would be played in Vidalia at Vidalia High Schools gym. He said Monterey’s gym does not meet the crowd capacity standards set by the Louisiana High School Activities Association for playoff games.

After the winter storm last week, he said he hopes the game is a return to normalcy for the community. He said he does not want to make the game more than it is. It can be a distraction he said from fallen trees and collapsed barns in the community.

“There have been things over the last few weeks that have been a lot more important than a basketball game,” Richard said. “Having something that is common like a high school basketball game can make everybody feel good. It is good timing for our community to have this basketball game tomorrow.”

After a 14-5 season, Monterey finished second in their district and earned a 16th seed in the tournament. Richard said it is exciting to get to this point in the season because of the team’s continued hardwork.

He said it has been a challenging year first dealing with COVID and then a winter storm hit Monterey hard. Half of the team’s players are without power as are other members of the community, he said. Monterey’s gym did not suffer any damage from the storm.

Thursday was the first day of classes at Monterey since the winter storm hit last week. He said the team has been able to practice this week after missing a week of practice the Wolves had not been together as a team since February 9. 

“We had to knock off some rust the first couple of days,” Richard said. “Hopefully we are able to play our best basketball on (Friday). We will be ready to go at 6 o’clock (Friday).”

He said he will not know how ready his team is until they take the court on Friday and are put into a game situation. He said the playoffs are a one game season, and both Monterey and Lacassine know they only have one guaranteed game.

The Wolves have had good practices he said, and the kids have prepared the right way. Mentally and physically, the Wolves are ready to take the court, Richard said.

Lacassine is a quicker team, but they do not have the size that Monterey does. Both teams are evenly matched as Lacassine is a 17th seed and Monterey is a 16th seed.

Richard said the key for the Wolves to win the game would be to control the tempo. Monterey likes to slow the game down, so he said they would need to control their aggressiveness. 

“You want to be aggressive but you want to be aggressive in a smart way with the basketball,” Richard said. “You run your offense the way that you want by taking shots that you want. (You do) not allow them to dictate the shots that you take.”

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