Ever go to a basketball game and watch it turn into a track meet?
Expect that feeling when Baton Rouge’s two Cinderella teams, Madison Prep and Parkview Baptist, play for state titles at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Girls Top 28 tournament Saturday.
“I always tell my girls to go at it from the jump,” Parkview coach Christina Anderson said. “We want to run the floor and get out early. I believe it’s going to be a slugfest because both teams can score points. But I believe in my prizefighters.”
Sixth-seeded Madison Prep (30-4) plays top-seeded North Caddo (34-1) in the Class 2A final at 4 p.m. at SLU’s University Center. No. 4 Parkview (25-10) meets second-seeded Jewel Sumner (34-0) in the 3A final at 6 p.m.
The final day of the five-day tourney begins at 2 p.m. with a 1A game between top-seeded Arcadia (31-1) vs. No. 6 Merryville (32-0). It concludes at 8 p.m. with sixth-seeded Rayne (31-2) facing No. 8 Ursuline (26-5) in the 4A title game.
Madison Prep and Parkview ousted higher seeded teams by double-digit margins in their semifinal tourney debuts Wednesday. PBS upset No. 1 Iota, while MPA beat second-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas.
Both title-game matchups figure to be high-octane with lots of pressure defense and fast-paced transition play.
But there are differences. In North Caddo, Madison Prep faces the two-time defending 2A state champion. The teams have never met. But consider this point: North Caddo won a state title two years ago just as Madison Prep was fielding its first varsity girls team.
Parkview plays a Sumner team it lost to by three points in December. Both teams have won 13 straight.
“North Caddo won the last two state titles and we respect them and what they do,” MPA coach Dwayne Hayes said. “They have a great player in Jasmine Thomas, and everything usually goes through her. And they also have other talented players around her.
“They do what they do very well. I also think we do the things we do well. I think we match up well. My girls believe this is their time, and I believe in them.”
The individual matchups are intriguing. North Caddo’s Thomas averages 19 points per game, while freshman Destiny Rice adds 16 and Sumer Williams 15 per game. MPA’s Sherry Porter averages 19 points and Alexis Augustus 18.
Skyler Goodwin, who scored 31 in the semifinals, leads Parkview with a 25-point scoring average. Leah Collins added 21 points and 14 rebounds in the semifinal and averages 15 points a game. Diamond Brooks leads Sumner with a 18.0 scoring average. Bre’Ashlee Jones, who averages 10.0 a game, scored 21 in the semifinals.
“We know what to expect from them,” Sumner coach Kara Corkern said. “But a lot has changed for both of us since that first game. Our lineup is different, and they’ve made changes too.”
North Caddo’s Williams noted, “Our biggest focus is not to become complacent.”