Four Acadiana-area high school basketball teams will face an early test this week when they travel to Lake Charles and compete in the Sunday Players’ Showdown in the Lake tournament hosted by Hamilton Christian Academy.
Lafayette Christian, Northside, St. Martinville and New Iberia will all compete in the talent-laden, 16-team tournament featuring three of the 2014-15 season’s LHSAA state champions and two of its state runner-ups.
“It’s going to be a really good tournament,” Lafayette Christan coach Byron Starks said. “There’s a lot of really good talent out there.”
LCA (2-0) of Class 1A will start the tournament at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Hamilton Christian with a sizable opponent in Class 5A West Jefferson (2-1), but that’s nothing new for the Knights, who started their season with a win against Texas Class 6A opponent South Grand Prairie.
If the Knights and Madison Prep (1-0) win their first two games of the tournament it would lead to a rematch of last season’s Class 1A title game and a 2014 Class 1A semifinal games, each of which Lafayette Christian lost.
“I’d love to see (the Chargers) and we’d love to play them,” Starks said. “The biggest thing is whether or not we can get there, and if we do happen to meet up with Madison Prep, can we play our best. We’re going to go out and do best no matter who the opponent is, and be the best team by the end of it.”
With no chance of a rematch in this years’ playoff tournament due to the Chargers’ move to Class 2A this season, this could be the only chance the Knights will get at a rematch for the foreseeable future.
The tournament may also serve as a sort of showcase for twins Kalob and Jacob LeDoux, who recently committed to McNeese State in Lake Charles.
“I think it’s going to be great for them,” Starks said. “This will give them a good three-day span in the Lake area for those McNeese alumni to come out and watch some of those games.”
St. Martinville (2-2) will face reigning Class 5A champion Scotlandville (2-0) at 4 p.m. in the tournament’s first game at LaGrange High School.
The Tigers are looking to rebound after losing to LCA Tuesday night.
Northside (2-0) will take on Ouachita Parish (2-0) in a contest scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at LaGrange.
Northside enters the tournament fresh off a nail-biting 59-57 win Tuesday in Lake Charles against Washington-Marion, which will also participate in the Showdown in the Lake tournament, but on the other side of the bracket, meaning if a rematch were to happen, it would take place Saturday, the final day of the tournament.
The Vikings’ only other opponent this season LaGrange (1-4), which it defeated 79-46 in both teams’ season opener, is also part of the tournament pool, and depending on how the bracket shakes out, a rematch between Northside and the Gators could also take place Saturday.
Washington-Marion (1-1) will face New Iberia (2-1) at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Hamilton Christian.
This spot on the bracket happens to fall right next to that of LCA vs. West Jefferson, meaning if the Yellow Jackets and the Knights either both win or both lose, it would set up the first meeting between the two Acadiana programs.
Other noteworthy teams among the tournament’s field include reigning Class 4A champion Landry-Walker and 2015 Class 2A runner-up Lakeview. Landry-Walker could potentially meet up with Scotlandville in the semifinals Saturday for a battle between the two defending champions.