District play in basketball is coming to a close and things are staying hot in District 5-5A. After a last-second, one-point loss to the McKinley Panthers, 63-62, the St. Amant Gators scorched Woodlawn on Feb. 13, 62-37. Courtney Julian led the Gators’ effort with 18 points that included four three-pointers, while Carter Templet added 13 and Nick Griffin scored 12 points. Woodlawn topped the Gators in the junior varsity game 39-28.

After handing the Gators a district loss, the Panthers beat the Catholic High Bears 53-49 at the Bears’ den. That knots up the Gators and Bears at 6-2, still tied for first, and the Panthers, at 5-3, are only one game behind. The Gators will have played the Spartans by the time we go to press and will wrap up their season by taking on the Dutchtown Griffins at the Gold Dome on Friday.

East Ascension handed the Dutchtown Griffins a 48-45 district loss. Cameron Kelsey and Bilal Frank led the Spartans’ effort with 12 points each and Shedrick Smith added 9. The Spartan junior varsity team won 41-34.

Donaldsonville lost a district game to Patterson 67-54. The Tigers were led in scoring by Braxton Bernard with 25 and Tyler Brown added 11 while Jaquel Gant tallied 9 points. Both Bernard and Brown hit three three-pointers in the game. Patterson won the junior varsity game 45-34.

Tennis wrap-up

In tennis action, the Parkview Baptist Girls won a match against Dutchtown 4-1.

In singles, Brooke Hillman, of Dutchtown, won her match against Bailey Dunn, of Parkview Baptist, 6-1, 6-0. Hannah Milton, of Parkview, defeated Caroline Swanson, of Dutchtown, 7-5, 7-5.

In doubles, the Parkview Baptist team of Kelly Luong and Madison Summers defeated Dutchtown’s Gabriella Castillo and Emily Fergusen 6-0, 6-2. The Parkview team of Emma Dubuc and Grace Mele defeated Dutchtown’s Grace Overstreet and Bailey Weidenbacher 6-3, 6-2, while Parkview’s Cameron Scarborough and Anna Holley defeated Dutchtown’s Skylar Dowies and Nicole Reedmond 6-3, 4-6, 10-3.

The Dutchtown boys lost to Parkview Baptist 4-1.

In the singles division, Cole Wilson, of Parkview, defeated Tanner Hillman, of Dutchtown, 7-5, 4-6, 10-8, while Dutchtown’s Troy Pontillas defeated Carson Juminville, of Parkview Baptist, 6-0, 6-0.

In the doubles matches, Nick Dauzat and Hayden Black, of Parkview Baptist, defeated Evan Prejean and Grant Bruillette, of Dutchtown, 7-6, 0-6, 10-8. Aaron Rudd and Thomas Ryan, of Parkview, defeated Zack Hattier and Zach Wolleson, of Dutchtown, 3-6, 6-3, 10-4, and Chandler Smith and Zach Davis, of Parkview, defeated Hunter Hall and Mason Miranda, of Dutchtown, 7-6, 2-6, 10-3.

Soccer playoff results

In the soccer playoffs, Division I bidistrict round, the St. Amant Gators lost to Baton Rouge High 3-2, and Dutchtown handed West Monroe a 3-2 loss. Mandeville put the Griffins out of the playoffs in a regional loss by the score of 3-0.

In the girl’s bidistrict playoffs, Terrebonne handed the Dutchtown Griffins a 2-1 defeat, Dominican beat the Lady Gators 4-0 in their match and the ladies of East Ascension won their match against Lafayette by 3-2 in a shootout. St Scolastica ended the Spartans’ playoff run 4-0.

The social order

South Louisiana is known for its social activities and one of the most popular in hunting circles is the sport of rabbit hunting. Social, you may ask; quite social, indeed. This small game is hunted by two groups. One of the groups is the pack of beagles that are bred and raised to hunt and trail the sneaky rabbits. The other group is made up of the humans that raise the first group, follow them around the woods and try to get in position to shoot the sneaky rabbits that make great table fare.

I had the privilege of attending one of these social engagements a few weeks ago near St. Francisville on Cat Island as a guest of Lewis Bahlinger. I was accompanied by my co-host of the “Ascension Outdoors” TV show, “Goosie” Guice.

This event started at 6 a.m. with the morning breakfast gathering. The attendees were a scraggly looking bunch of guys with bed heads of hair. We were treated to poached eggs, crispy fried bacon and biscuits a la can; Pillsbury, I think. Chef Boddie Quick, trained at the Culinary Institute of Camp Cooking, served this fine menu.

After a smattering of chatter, the group headed outside to gather round the other group and prepare for the hunt.

There is a social order amongst the pack of dogs. The “jump dog” is the head of the group. This high-ranking canine has a very sensitive nose and is able to find the rabbits as they nest to sleep after a long night’s feeding. The rest of the pack joins in after the rabbit is chased out of its nest.

The hunters then spread out, trying to figure out where the rabbit might head as to get a clean, open shot and bag the bunny. Once a hunter’s spot is claimed, it’s not socially acceptable to infringe on his “territory.” But if the established hunter chooses to move ahead, the spot is then yielded to the secondary hunter.

This scene repeats itself many times during the day until a rabbit is shot and killed. Then the game starts afresh, with all the good-hearted ribbing about how many times the rabbit was shot at and missed and other verbal jabs, as well.

The dogs talk, or bark, to the rabbits and to each other, as well. When one of the dogs gets on a trail, its barking signals to the other dogs to join in.

The hunters talk to each other but they talk to the dogs, too. If a rabbit gets by a hunter, he begins to call the dogs to the area where the rabbit went. This language is strange and can’t be spelled out by phonics but each pack owner has his own dialect. Hollering is done while the dogs are on the trail for encouragement.

This day was a good one as we killed 35 rabbits with some of the best weather possible. It started off in the 30s and warmed up to short-sleeve weather. After the hunt, a lunch of sausage po-boys and hamburgers was served up to the hungry bunch of the human group. The dog pack was retired to a portable pen for resting and dinner later. Social; I would say so.

Lyle Johnson covers sports for The Ascension Advocate. He can be contacted at reelman@eatel.net or ascension@theadvocate.com.