For the past several years Episcopal and Rapides have met in friendly, nondistrict competition in preparation for each other’s district season with an eye toward how they’ll each stack up in the postseason.
Just over three months ago after the Knights registered a 27-point victory, the two teams will try and end the other’s season.
No. 3 Episcopal (30-2) carries an impressive 23-game win streak into Friday’s 7 p.m. home Class 2A state quarterfinal against No. 6 Rapides (21-7), which has won its past seven games.
“We’re confident with how we’re playing, and Rapides should feel confident with how they’re playing,” Episcopal coach Chris Beckman said. “It will be a tremendous game, and hopefully we can keep it going.”
In order to maintain its impressive stretch of five consecutive appearances in the Class 5A title game, No. 3 Scotlandville (30-4) travels to Bossier City to face No. 22 Parkway (23-8) in a Class 5A state quarterfinal at 7 p.m.
“This is nothing new to the program,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample, whose team won road quarterfinals in 2013 and ’12. “I tell the kids we can play on the moon, but we have to be ready to play. That’s the approach we take for every game. The place is no distraction. We have to lock in and focus and get off to a good start.”
Episcopal is looking to snap a stretch of three straight quarterfinal setbacks and reach the Top 28 for the first time since 2008.
During their earlier clash this season, the Knights reached a high-water mark with 95 points in a 95-68 victory — two games before they went on to an undefeated District 6-2A title.
“That was probably the best we played up until that point in the season,” Beckman said. “One of their key players had transferred out, and we got up early and did a good job of controlling the tempo. They’ve improved since then and won a tough district. We don’t anticipate that game to repeat itself, but it would be nice.”
Senior guard Spencer Kleinpeter (18.1) leads a trio of double-digit scorers for Episcopal that includes Chris Beckman Jr. (16.8) and Kevin Tripeaux (10.8). In effort to minimize any potential game-day travel delays Scotlandville bused to Shreveport on Thursday and enjoyed a light workout.
Parkway, the District 1-5A runner-up to Byrd, earned the right to host the quarterfinal with a 69-68 upset of No. 6 Lafayette, extending their win streak to seven games.
Scotlandville’s riding a 17-game win streak following a business-like 50-39 regional win over Alexandria. Senior guard Jordan Adebutu leads the team with a 17-point average.
“We’re a team at the moment that’s peaking the right time,” Sample said. “There’s a history with this program where in the last four or five games we’ve started to play every game better than the last one.”