St. Thomas More boys basketball coach Danny Broussard certainly the hopes the positive of being the No. 1 seeded team in the Class 4A state playoffs will ultimately outweigh the negative.
In a 24-hour span over the weekend, STM (28-7) nailed down its first No. 1 seed since the LHSAA went to a seedings process to determine its postseason bracket.
The Cougars, on their home floor Friday, defeated Northside 79-64 to tie for the District 4-4A championship and followed that on Saturday with a 57-53 victory in a special playoff game held at Ascension Episcopal.
“We knew going in to secure the No. 1 seed not only did we have to win on Friday, but we have to beat them again on Saturday,” said Broussard, whose team was seeded second when it claimed the 2013 Class 4A state title.
STM was one of two No. 1 seeded teams, along with Lafayette Christian Academy in Class 1A, while the Acadiana area produced a total of 34 teams headed to postseason play in the LHSAA pairings released on Monday.
The Cougars hosts Rayne (9-19) in first-round action on Friday at 7 p.m. but are situated on the same side of the bracket as District 4-4A counterparts No. 16 Carencro and No. 8 Northside.
“Who wants to play somebody four times?” asked Broussard, whose team has already faced both clubs three times this season. “That’s unfortunate to have all these good, solid teams from the same district on your side of the draw. We have to go through each other, but we’re just going to take them one at a time.”
Reigning Class 1A state runner-up Lafayette Christian Academy (27-2) was an overwhelming selection as the top seed for the first time in the program’s relatively short history.
The Knights, who won their last 15 games, hosts District 7-1A foe No. 32 Vermilion Catholic (11-11) Friday at 7 p.m.
“I really think what the players have done and the schedule we had speaks for itself,” LCA coach Byron Starks said. “Whether we are the hunted, as some people say, as the No. 1 seed, we still have to go out and perform and do our absolute best no matter who is in the path.”
LCA rolled through the 7-1A portion of its schedule with a 14-0 record, including sizeable wins over Vermilion Catholic (96-40 and 96-60), the latter of which the Knights hosted last Friday.
“When Vermilion Catholic comes on our court Friday, they’re going to expect to give their best, and we’re going to expect the same thing out of our players,” Starks said. “We’re not going to let our guard down for any opponent.”
District 3-5A champion No. 15 New Iberia (22-9) hosts No. 18 Catholic-Baton Rouge (19-11), while No. 7 Comeaux (22-9) entertains No. 26 Helen Cox (18-11).
Breaux Bridge (21-8), the District 5-4A winner, hosts No. 27 St. Michael the Archangel (16-12), District 8-3A champ Patterson (21-4) hosts No. 28 Lutcher (21-9) and District 5-3A winner Eunice (21-9) will make an historic home appearance against No. 25 Iowa (18-10) at 7 p.m.
Not only did the Bobcats end a 17-year drought without a district title, they will also end a 15-year playoff dry spell.
“We set goals at the beginning of the season, and so far we’ve been able to accomplish those goals,” Eunice coach Chad Andrepont said. “We were able to do that with a combination of the coaches and players putting in the time and effort and working together as one unit. We were fortunate to accomplish every goal we set so far.”