LAKE CHARLES —Top-seeded Riverside Academy advanced to the Class 2A title game again but not without getting a scare from No. 5 North Caddo.
Robert Williams made two free throws with 35.5 seconds left to cut Riverside’s lead to four points, at 73-69.
But Malik Crowfield calmly made two free throws five seconds later to help close out a 79-71 victory over NCHS in a Class 2A semifinal played at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Boys Top 28 tournament on Thursday. Riverside meets Lakeview (27-5) in the 2A final set for 4 p.m. Saturday at Burton Coliseum. A crowd of 5,790 attended the five-game session.
Riverside (29-6) seeks its third straight 2A title and fifth in six years. Herb McGee led the Rebels with 23 points. Jordan Andrews (15), Von Julien (13) and Crowfield (10) also scored in double figures for Riverside. Williams scored a game-high 27 points for North Caddo (26-3). Monterious Sheppard added 21 and Christavious Thomas had 14.
LAKEVIEW 73, EPISCOPAL 54: Second-seeded Lakeview is headed back to the Class 2A title game for the second year in a row.
Lakeview scored the game’s first 20 points. Episcopal got no closer than seven the rest of the way.
Tay Hardy scored a game-high 29 points, making 10 of 16 shots from the field, including 6 of 10 3-pointers.
Episcopal didn’t score its first points until Evan Lawson scored with 1:24 remaining in the first quarter. Chris Beckman Jr. led Episcopal with 17 points and Spencer Kleinpeter had 15. The Knights finished 31-3.
JOHN CURTIS 72, RAYVILLE 69: Richard Durant scored a game-high 25 points, including five in the final minute to power third-seeded John Curtis.
Durant hit a game-tying 3-pointer and added two free throws with 12.1 seconds left to clinch the win for the Patriots (25-7). Kai Morgan added 21 for JCCS. Curtis advances to play the University, which St. Louis 51-40, in the 3A final set for 6 p.m. Saturday.
Jamarion Johnson led Rayville (31-3) with 16 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. Michael Williams (13), Kameron Kelly (11) and Decarion Qualls (10) also scored in double digits for RHS.
UNIVERSITY 51, ST. LOUIS 40: U-High (32-4) outscored St. Louis by seven points in the final quarter to notch the victory. With the victory, the defending 3A champion Cubs (32-4) advance to play third-seeded John Curtis (25-7).
Wayde Sims shook off a slow start to finish with a game-high 17 points and 10 rebounds. Maxwell Starwood scored nine of his 13 points in the second-half, including two monster dunks in the fourth quarter as UHS outscored the Saints (22-12) by a 21-14 margin to pull away.
Jalen Johnson also had 12 points for UHS. P.J. Hardy also had 12 points to pace St. Louis, a school making its first tourney appearance since 1998. SLC was the only Lake Charles school in the tourney.
SALMEN 56, MCDONOGH (35) 45: A 10-point third-quarter surge helped propel top-seeded Salmen into the Class 4A title game.
Salmen (26-5) meets No. 6 Landry-Walker (25-9), the defending champion, in the 4A title game set for 8 p.m. Saturday.
Corey Vinson led Salmen with 17 points, while Chris Vickers had 15 and Alex Taylor had 13. DeJon Jarreau led McDonogh (20-13) with 15 points. Joseph Foucha and Bryson Gresham each had 13.