WALKER — Brian Thomas scored a game-high 25 points, leading fourth-seeded Walker to an 84-59 victory over Southwood of Shreveport in a Class 5A quarterfinal game played Friday night at WHS.
Thomas made 12 of 16 shots from the floor for the Wildcats (31-4), who advance to the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boys Basketball tournament for the first time since 1962. With the win, Walker is set to meet top-seeded Natchitoches Central in the semifinal round.
“This means a lot for this program and the school,” Walker coach Anthony Schiro said. “It means a lot to me as an alum who played here and as the coach. And it is great for a group of seniors who have been impact players since they were freshmen. These guys laid the foundation for this success.”
Jalen Cook added 17 points and Jalen Perkins added 13 for the Wildcats, who join a large group of teams making a return to the annual tourney that begins Monday in Lake Charles.
Scotlandville and McKinley of Division I, Division II University High, Episcopal of Division III, and White Castle in Class 1A also punched their return tickets to the tournament with quarterfinal wins Friday.
SCOTLANDVILLE 99, HOLY CROSS 60: LSU signee Ja’Vonte Smart poured in 46 points with four 3-pointers for the Hornets. Reece Beekman added 22 points and Tireon Joseph 14 for Scotlandville in the game played at SHS.
The defending Division I champion Hornets, seeded No. 1, advance to the LHSAA tourney for the ninth straight year and face local rival McKinley, seeded fourth, in a rematch of last year’s semifinal.
MCKINLEY 63, JESUIT 55: Tyrece Radford scored more than half of McKinley’s points, finishing with 35 in a quarterfinal win at home.
Marcus Coleman also contributed 17 points for the Panthers (22-10) of District 5-5A.
WHITE CASTLE 69, ARCADIA 65 OT: In White Castle, the defending 1A champion Bulldogs outscored Arcadia 16-12 in the overtime period to advance once again to the LHSAA tourney.
Darian Pierce led No. 4 WCHS with 20 points. Kenneth Bracken (16), Unique Young (15) and Tre Melancon (12) were other leaders for WCHS. Pierce made four 3-pointers. The Bulldogs face top-seeded Tensas, the team they beat in last year’s title game.
UNIVERSITY 91, DAVID THIBODAUX 77 2OT: The second-seeded Cubs tallied 20 points in the second overtime period to advance to the LHSAA tourney for a sixth straight season as Eric Reed scored a game-high 40 points.
With the win, University plays No. 3 De La Salle in the semifinals. The two teams met in the title game a year ago. Bryton Constantin added 18 for UHS and Milan Mejia added 10 for U-High (20-12). The Cubs were the Division I runners-up a year ago.
EPISCOPAL 53, NEWMAN 47: The Knights (32-3), seeded fourth in Division III, outscored No. 5 Newman 17-12 in the fourth period to pull away for another quarterfinal win.
Cameron Dumas made four 3-pointers and tallied 21 points for Episcopal. Austin Jemison pitched in 10 points for the Knights, who advance to the state tourney for the fourth straight year where they will face No. 1 Riverside Academy.