East Feliciana, Redemptorist girls meet for District 6-2A title _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Coach Valencia Wilson, right, shouts instructions to Chelsea Singleton (22) during practice. Wilson is the Redemptorist girls basketball coach who is a former Capitol player and the first player from the Lions glory years from the past decade to become a head coach. Wilson works with the Redemptorist team during practice prior to Tuesday's showdown with Capitol who is coached by her old coach Alvin Stewart.

There’s a huge District 6-2A girls basketball game that will decide the league title Tuesday night.

East Feliciana (14-7, 8-1) travels to Redemptorist (19-7, 7-2) for a 6 p.m. game that should garner plenty of interest.

It’s hard to believe it could get any better than that girls game. How about two major matchups rolled into one?

That’s what fans will get Tuesday at White Castle High. The Bulldogs (19-7, 7-0) host West St. John (7-9, 6-1) in a District 8-1A boys game. That game follows a 6 p.m. 8-1A girls game between WCHS (16-10, 6-1) and West St. John (22-4, 7-0).

“This one will decide it,” Redemptorist girls coach Valencia Wilson said. “We hit a rough patch last week, but we’ve had two good practices. I feel like we’re getting back to where we need to be.

“East Feliciana is a talented team. They like to run, push the ball. It’s a good matchup. Defense for us is going to be important for us. We can’t let them have easy baskets.”

White Castle boys coach Troy Green said his team won’t underestimate West St. John.

“We were able to beat them at their gym and now we have to finish,” Green said. “West St. John always has a lot of guys who play football so they start out slow. But by the time you get to district, they’re ready.

“They beat East Iberville twice and Ascension Catholic twice. Our guys know what to expect, and they know what’s at stake.”

While the White Castle boys sit in the 8-1A driver’s seat, the Bulldogs trail West St. John by a game in the girls standings. The matchup presents some special challenges because WSJHS has one of the state’s top 1A players in Maya Trench.

“(Trench) can shoot the 3-pointer, but you also have to respect the fact that she can drive,” WCHS girls coach Tammy Pierce said. “The first time we played them, we made 25 percent of our shots and you won’t beat anybody that way.

“We need to slow it down on offense and show a little patience. We need to take good shots and play with intensity on defense the entire game.”

Each game has its share of compelling individual matchups. The Redemptorist girls are without top scorers Alexis Augustus and Margan Johnson. Both players suffered knee injuries earlier in the season. RHS lost twice last week.

Chelsea Singleton is a 5-foot-7 guard who leads the Wolves in scoring with a 21.0 average. Shardae Melancon adds 17.0. RHS has a 6-0 post player in eighth-grader Reagan Williams.

Makayla Barton, Kourtlin Bradford and Tatayana Brown all average in double figures for East Feliciana.

The White Castle boys will have to contend with West St. John’s 6-4 Morrell Bartholomew, who averages more than 20 points a game, an inside-out threat. White Castle counters with a lineup led by 6-5 Jatyre Carter, a sophomore who averages 16 points a game. Junior Sampson Wesley (6-2) adds 14.0, while Jacorey Washington is at 10 points per game.

Twins Shylar (4-11) and Skylar (5-7) O’Bear lead the White Castle girls team. Skylar O’Bear averages 18 points per game, while Shylar adds 16 points a game.

Power ratings change

There were some questions about whether or not the LHSAA would be able to implement the new basketball power ratings format approved Friday at the LHSAA convention. Assistant Executive Director Ronda Richardson said the conversion was completed over the weekend.

Richardson said the new power-ratings formula will be reflected in this week’s power ratings.

“There were some concerns because it is late in the season,” Richardson said. “We were able to get the software updated over the weekend and everything is ready to go now.”

The new formula takes away the 0.5 power points previously given to the district runner-up and gives teams credit for 100 percent of an opponent’s wins, regardless of whether the game was a win or a loss.