Given the fact that University High School has won state titles and plenty of boys basketball games over the years, it’s hard to imagine the Cubs claiming a first-time accomplishment.
But that’s what happened last week when Class 3A U-High (11-1) won the Next Level Hoops Fest in Nashville, Tennessee.
It marked the first time UHS won a national holiday tournament.
Seniors Jalen Johnson and Wayde Sims led the way as the Cubs beat Presbyterian Christian (Nashville, Tennessee) and traditional Kentucky powers, Ballard and Hopkinsville.
The 6-foot-7 Johnson was voted tournament MVP and Sims made the all-tournament team. Johnson scored 21 points and Sims, an LSU signee, added 20 in a 66-53 semifinal win over Ballard.
The 6-6 Sims scored 26 and Johnson added 24 in a 70-61 victory over Hopkinsville in the title game.
“The thing that impressed me the most was how well we played as a team,” coach Joe Spencer said. “When you come off the holidays like we did, you never know for sure what to expect.
“We expect to get around 20 points from both Jalen and Wayde. I like the way all the other guys were playing their roles. We got big contributions from younger guys off the bench. As the season goes on, we’ll need those number six, seven and eight guys to contribute.”
UHS has won the past two Class 3A state titles. The Cubs travel to Brusly for boys-girls District 6-3A doubleheader on Monday.
Pupil vs. teacher
It wasn’t just another game when Belaire earned a 49-38 win over Glen Oaks in the third-place game at the Bob Pettit/Coca-Cola/EBR tournament last week.
The game marked the most recent matchup between Glen Oaks coach Harvey Adger and his former assistant, Belaire’s Chauney Moore, who was part of two Panthers state titles in the 1990s.
“When we play, it’s always a chess match between the two of us,” Moore said. “I enjoy that, and I think (Adger) does too.”
“We had some chances, but couldn’t make a few shots to really pressure them,” Adger said. “When I play against Chauncey, I know what to expect. His teams are always prepared.”
Softball umpires meeting
The Baton Rouge softball chapter of the Louisiana High School Officials Association will host another organization meeting at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Goodwood Library.
All returning umpires and anyone interested in becoming a high school softball umpire this spring should plan to attend. Regular weekly meetings will start the week of Jan. 11.
U-High’s Johnson scored his 1,000th career point in the 76-36 win over Christ Presbyterian in the first round of the Next Level Hoops Fest over the holidays. Johnson, a senior guard-forward, is averaging 18.0 points per game.
St. Amant wrestler Jordan Averett picked up his 100th career win in a dual-meet victory over Live Oak late last month.
Averett beat Mason Castle in the 195-pound weight class to notch the milestone. He joins his older brother, Joshua, who got his 100th victory last season, and Clint Brownell, who claimed his 100th win earlier this season.
Former Catholic High quarterback Zack Oliver of Northwestern played in the Outback Bowl, completing 6 of 13 passes for 72 and was intercepted twice in a 45-6 loss to Tennessee.