Advocate photo by BRAD KEMP Teurlings Catholic's Sage LeBlanc pushes the ball up the floor against Carencro's Terrance Senegal last month. Carencro plays Acadiana in a key District 3-5A game Thursday.

Carencro coach Christopher Kovatch knows what to expect Thursday night when cross-town rival Acadiana comes into the Bears’ gym in a District 3-5A game.

Both teams playing at a high level, raised emotions and a quality game of basketball.

And while playing in their home gym doesn’t hurt, Kovatch said both would be ready.

“I suppose it helps (my team) to a certain extent,” Kovatch said. “It really doesn’t matter though, this is Carencro v. Acadiana.

“I’d imagine both sets of kids would compete at a high level, even if we were in a locked gym.”

The schools are separated by less than 10 miles and in the past 10 years have shared their fair share of close games.

Since 2004, Carencro has won 10 of the 19 games the teams have played, but the Rams won both matchups by double digits in the 2013-14 season.

And coming off a scrappy 37-33 victory against Sulphur, Acadiana is rounding into form as it hits district play.

Kovatch said the Rams will play an aggressive man-to-man defense, so the Bears guards will have to play mistake-free to help the team’s offense run smoothly.

“We will only do what we do,” Kovatch said. “We have to be ready to secure the ball in the fullcourt and execute in the halfcourt.”

The Bears will have to contend with Acadiana senior forward Bry’Kiethon Mouton, who recently committed to LSU as three-star tight end on the football field but also serves as the Rams primary scoring option.

Kovatch said Carencro needs to contain Mouton while eliminating high-percentage shots and crashing the defensive boards to limit second-chance points.

Carencro has its share of scoring punch in backcourt duo of senior Jacob Siner and junior Dandre Dudley, both helping to provide outside shooting and easy buckets with their driving ability.

Dudley is averaging 26 points per game, according to Kovatch, and has helped take the scoring pressure off Siner.

Kovatch said senior center Dervante Parker has become a “beacon of leadership,” and has helped coax consistent quality performances from underclassmen on the Bears roster.

Kovatch singled out freshman forward Bradley Chaisson as having played consistently well in recent weeks.

With the Bears dropping their past two district games, the stakes are higher than usual for Kovatch and his team.

Kovatch said the keys to getting a much-needed win are simple.

“We just need to eliminate turnovers, run an effective offense and eliminate their shots in the paint,” Kovatch said.