Marlain Veal and Marshall Jackson didn’t get the state championships they coveted this season at their respective schools.
But both finished off their careers with memorable seasons.
Veal, the highlight reel waiting to happen senior point guard at Helen Cox, led his team to the Class 5A quarterfinals.
Jackson, meanwhile, led Higgins to the Top 28 tournament in his final season after three decades pacing the sideline.
Veal and Jackson earned top honors on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A All-State basketball teams, making it a Westbank sweep.
The 5-foot-9 Veal was voted Most Outstanding Player after averaging 15.3 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals per game for the Cougars.
Helen Cox entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed and made it to the quarters for the first time since former Cougar standout Greg Monroe led the team in 2008.
Jackson, meanwhile, was named Coach of the Year after leading Higgins to the 5A semifinals, despite entering the playoffs as the 20th seed. The Hurricanes were the lowest-seeded team to reach the Top 28 tournament, a fitting end for Jackson who is retiring after 33 seasons.
Jackson wasn’t the only person from Higgins to be recognized.
Higgins senior Melvin Frazier was a first-team all-state selection as well.
Frazier, considered one of the state’s top seniors, averaged 17.3 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Hurricanes.
On the girls team, Destrehan’s Cara Ursin was a first-team pick. Ursin, a sophomore, averaged 26.3 points and 11.5 rebounds for the Wildcats, who reached the 5A semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Ponchatoula.
It was the latest honor for Ursin, who in March was named Louisiana’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
Danayea Charles of Helen Cox and Taylor Berry of Mount Carmel were chosen to the girls second team. Charles averaged 22.1 points and 3.2 assists and Berry averaged 18 points and six rebounds.
Ponchatoula, which won the Class 5A title, swept the girls honors.
Senior post Jyar Francis, a Wichita State signee who led Ponchatoula to its first title, was selected as Most Outstanding Player. Francis averaged 20.2 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.
Ponchatoula’s Patricia Landaiche was voted Coach of the Year after guiding Ponchatoula to a 32-3 record in just her second season as the head coach of her alma mater.