St. Michael the Archangel had never made it to the LHSAA’s Top 28 boys basketball tournament before.
With Cincinnati signee Jacob Evans leading the way, the Warriors made the state tourney to cap a memorable season.
The memories continue with Evans being selected to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 4A all-state first team.
The 6-foot-6 Evans averaged 23.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.6 steals per game.
“It was a special year,” Evans said. “I think the hard work we put in, like lifting weights and running after practice for four years paid off. It showed that our hard work did pay off.
“It’s an honor to be part of the first-team. But I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches. What we did, we did as a team.”
State champions Landry-Walker, Warren Easton and runner-up Salmen headline the boys and girls teams selected by a panel of sportswriters from across the state.
Landry-Walker began the season 4-5 but recovered to capture the boys 4A title for the second season in a row with a 37-35 victory over Salmen. Warren Easton was one win away from an undefeated regular season but earned its first girls basketball title in school history defeating Salmen 46-42 the Burton Coliseum.
Bucs guard Lamar Peters, voted the Outstanding Player on the 4A boys squad.
Peters averaged 19.7 points per game with 5.0 assists and was joined on the all-state list by teammate Keytaon Thompson, who scored the game-winning shot as time expired in the state title game. Peters and Thompson were two of three underclassmen on the All-State team including McDonogh 35 junior De’Jon Jarreau (16.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.1 spg, 1.1 bpg).
Baylor signee Kalani Brown of Salmen was voted the Outstanding Player on the girls team. The 6-foot-6 Brown averaged 23 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game.
Coach of the Year honors went to Salmen’s Jay Carlin on the boys side and Easton’s Darius Mimms for the girls. Carlin led the Spartans to a 26-6 record and the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A playoffs while Mimms and the top-seeded Eagles nearly went undefeated at 36-1.
Joining Peters and Jarreau as first-team selections were Cecilia’s Jeremy Wiltz (28.6 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.3 apg) and Ellender’s Leland Alexander (23 ppg, 13 rpg, 4 apg, 2 spg).
Salmen’s Chris Vickers (17.9 ppg, 9 rpg), Leesville’s DaShawn Lewis (13.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.8 bpg, 2.5 spg), Neville’s Kavontae Turpin (15.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 4.1 apg, 3.3 spg) and Easton’s Kevin Hicks (22.6 ppg, 10 apg) were second-team selections next to Thompson, who averaged 14.7 points and 10.2 rebounds.
Joining Brown on the are Easton junior Kechelle Figueroa (14.9 ppg, 7 apg, 3 spg), Southern Miss signee Caitlin Jenkins (30.1 ppg, 15 rbg, 3 bpg) of Huntington, Cabrini’s Rakell Spencer (15 ppg) and Breaux Bridge’s Jasmine LeBlanc (25 ppg, 12 rpg, 2 bpg, 2 apg, 1 spg).
Second-team selections included Ellender’s Kiara Scott (18 ppg, 3 rpg, 3 apg), Karr’s Rehema Franklin (18.2 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 spg), Vandebilt Catholic’s Cassidy Barrios (25 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 3.2 apg), Loyola’s Amber Smith (20.6 ppg, 12.1 rpg, 3. 6 apg, 3.2 bpg, 2.7 spg) and Easton’s Sabrina Banks (14.2 ppg, 8 rpg).