The Albany bowling teams capped a strong year at the lanes by each finishing on the doorstep of a state tournament berth.

The Albany girls, seeded fifth in the state playoffs, defeated Cabrini in the first round of the Baton Rouge-New Orleans bi-regional on March 29 at All-Star Lanes before losing to Central in the second round. The boys, seeded third, lost to Central in the second round after receiving a bye in the first.

The boys entered the match against Central with a perfect 12-0 mark for the season after winning the Hammond regional and advancing into bi-regional play for the first time.

“This is the best the boys have ever done,” coach Shellie Woodward said. “To go undefeated in the regular season, it’s just a testament to how hard they compete. They only take the top 12 teams for this (bi-regional) competition. This is a huge accomplishment to get here.”

The Albany girls, who finished second to defending state champion St. Scholastica in the Hammond regional, put forth their two best efforts of the season in bi-regional action.

“I am very pleased with their overall performance in both games,” said Colette Sanchez, who coaches the Albany girls. “They bowled way above what they had done during the regular season.”

Wins over Central would have sent either Albany team to the state tournament as one of the four remaining teams in each division.

The Albany girls won the state championship in 2014.

“It’s an individual-type sport where, if you are extremely dedicated, you can experience a lot of success on a team level,” Sanchez said. “We push them to practice and motivate them to do their best.”

The Denham Springs boys also represented Livingston Parish in bi-regional play as the 12th-seeded Yellow Jackets lost to Dutchtown in the first round.

The return of five juniors should have the Albany boys back in the thick of things next year. The Albany girls must replace top bowler Maria Sanchez and two other seniors but expect to return four of their top six scorers.

Holden coach, two players earn Class B honors

Holden girls basketball coach Pam Forbes was named Coach of the Year in Class B, joined by players Sydney Hayden and Kaylee Hughes in representing the Rockets on the Louisiana Sports Writers Associations’s Class B All-State team released last week.

Forbes led Holden to its fifth state championship in girls basketball as the Rockets capped a 26-6 season with victories over Lacassine and Florien in the state tournament.

Hayden, a returning all-stater, earned first-team All-State recognition after averaging 15.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Hughes, who averaged 10.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists, was named to the all-state second team.

Lacassine’s Madyson Brasseaux was the Outstanding Player in Class B for the second straight year.

The All-State teams and individual awards in each classification are determined by a panel of sportswriters from across the state.

Brown earns All-Star invite

Live Oak senior softball player Lauren Brown will participate in the Louisiana High School Coaches Association’s annual East-West All-Star Game on May 20-21 at Louisiana College in Pineville.

One of 36 players selected, Brown will compete for the East squad.

Brown, a middle infielder who has signed to play for McNeese State next season, earned LHSCA all-state recognition as a junior when she batted .505 with 26 stolen bases.

Live Oak duo qualifies for regional fishing tourney

Tyler Thames and Lauren Roe will continue to represent Live Oak High later this year when the duo competes in the Southern Conference Championship.

Thames and Roe earned the Southern Conference invite by finishing in the top seven at the Louisiana State High School Fishing Championships last week on Sibley Lake. Thames and Roe finished sixth thanks to a five-bass haul weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces.

Tyler Hilton and Caleb Crawford, from Parkway, won the state title after bringing a five-bass limit to the scale weighting 15-13.

Josh Gautreaux and Wyatt Spring, also of Live Oak, nearly joined Thames and Roe in advancing as they finished ninth at state with an 11-9 total.

The Southern Conference Championship will be held Oct. 14-15 at Cypress Lake in Shreveport and will feature competitors from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas as well as Louisiana.

Scott Hotard covers sports for The Livingston-Tangipahoa Advocate. He can be contacted at shotard44@gmail.com or livingston@theadvocate.com.