Scotlandville High has appeared in every Class 5A boys basketball title game since 2010 and won four state titles.
Those facts make the Hornets more than just one of Louisiana’s elite teams. Coach Carlos Sample’s team also is a measuring stick for all challengers. Next up is Walker High.
The Wildcats (19-4, 2-0) host Scotlandville (22-2, 2-0) for a key District 4-5A game that helps highlight Tuesday’s schedule of district games.
“We’ve played good teams and won some close games,” Walker coach Anthony Schiro said. “Without a doubt, Scotlandville is the best team we’ve played.
“And you wonder how will we handle that it? How will we handle the pressure they put on you defensively and offensively? We’ll find out.”
Game time is approximately 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday.
Other showdowns loom in Districts 6-4A and 8-2A. Plaquemine (16-4, 2-0) hosts Belaire (17-5, 2-0) in 6-4A, while in 8-2A Episcopal (22-4, 2-0) travels to The Dunham School (20-5, 1-0).
“Walker is having a great year,” Sample said. “They’ve got wins over some good teams and they’ve shown they can win close ones.
“There are still things we need to work on, like our transition offense and defense. Going on the road for a district game gives us a chance to do that.”
Sophomore guard Ja’Vonte Smart leads Scotlandville with a 25.0 scoring average. Jordan Adebutu is at 18.0, while Garrick Green adds 14 points and 10 rebounds a game.
Dalton Moore leads Walker with a 14.3 average. Jacobi Scott (12.9) and Darius Hampton (10.0) are other offensive leaders for the Wildcats.
“We can’t get into a transition game with them,” Schiro notes. “We’ve got to take it a possession at a time and a quarter at a time. If we do that, hopefully we’ll give ourselves a chance to win at the end.”
The Belaire-Plaquemine storyline provides a contrast. Though Plaquemine has been a top 6-4A team in recent years, coach Donald Ray Johnson doesn’t see the Green Devils as heavy favorites.
“Belaire has played us close the last three years,” Plaquemine’s Johnson said. “There have been maybe four overtime games. We’re both 2-0 in district and I think you can expect it to be more like a playoff game.”
The big difference in this game could be Belaire’s 6-foot-8 post player Robert Lewis, who is four inches taller than the tallest PHS player.
“We’re going to make feeding the post a priority and see where that takes us,” Belaire coach Chauncey Moore said. “Playing there is always a factor because they do have fans who get into the games. The atmosphere should be great.”
Lewis averages 14 points and 10 rebounds a game. He’s part of a balanced attack that also includes Terrance Johnson (15.7 points a game) and Eric Matthew (14.9).
Plaquemine counters with a lineup led by C.J. Young (13.5 points per game) and Keandre Randall (13.0).
Chris Beckman Jr. scored 31 points in Episcopal’s 8-2A win over Runnels last Friday. Kevin Tripeaux added 13. Jordan Wright (14) and Tyveon Spurlock (12) led Dunham to a nondistrict win over Phoenix.