Parity may be one of the most overused words in sports. There are still times when it’s a perfect fit — like this weekend.

Wrestling’s annual City Championships begin Friday and may be one of the closest in years.

“It’s going to be real close for the top five spots,” Brusly coach Jimmy Bible said. “I think Catholic is the favorite. You don’t have a team that will run away from everybody, and there’s a group that’s close to each other team wise.”

Catholic High coach Tommy Prochaska added, “There’s a lot of parity out there.”

Competition starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Brusly. Action resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with finals set for 3 p.m.

There are two notable boys basketball showdowns Friday night in Class 5A/4A. Plaquemine (20-5, 3-0) hosts St. Michael (22-4, 4-1) at about 7:15 p.m. for a match-up of District 6-4A leaders. PHS won 42-38 in the first round.

“Donald (Johnson, PHS coach) and I talk all the time,” St. Michael coach Drew Hart said. “We know our teams are evenly matched, and it could come down to one possession. We played our best defensive game the first time, but we scored 15 points under our average. We need everyone to contribute.”

The second round of play also begins in 5-5A with St. Amant (17-9, 4-1) hosting Catholic (18-5, 5-0) also at about 7:15 p.m. The Bears opened league play with a 63-53 win over the Gators.

“Our goal since then was to take it one game at a time and make sure that we got the chance to play a meaningful game against Catholic this time,” SAHS coach Travis Uzee said. “They were the better team the first time. We’re anxious to show what we can do, especially playing at home.”

Weight classes to note at the City wrestling tourney include 126, 160 and 220. Brusly edged Catholic last year to win the title. Catholic has three top seeds in Dominic Dewey (120 pounds), Matthew Mire (152) and K.J. Wilson (220). Brusly, Live Oak and Baton Rouge High each have two top seeds.

The basketball games feature two of the area’s top players. St. Michael’s 6-foot-5 Jacob Evans, a Cincinnati signee, averages 25.5 points per game. St. Amant’s Courtney Julien (6-4) is a Texas State signee who averages 23 points. Toliver Freeman helps lead Catholic, while 6-5 D.J. Marshall leads Plaquemine with a 19.0 scoring average.

Game notes

University High (23-2, 9-1) travels to Parkview Baptist (20-6, 8-1) for a crucial District 7-3A girls basketball game set for about 6 p.m.

U-High, the defending 3A state champion, beat PBS 63-54 the first time the teams met on Jan. 13.