Rematches in the high school playoffs often bring drama to the later rounds of the playoffs. So what’s the mantra when you face a familiar foe to open the LHSAA’s girls basketball playoffs?
“To do better … that’s our goal,” Plaquemine High coach Brannon Dillon said. “We know St. Michael is the big dog. They’re a great team that’s very sound and they’ll capitalize on your weaknesses.
“They know us and we know them. No need for scouting reports and not much travel. We didn’t play well the last time against them, and we’d like to show we’re better than that.”
Defending Class 3A state champion University High (27-2) was the only Baton Rouge team to claim a No. 1 seed. Class 5A Walker (27-5) claimed a No. 2 seed, the best in school history when the LHSAA released its girls basketball playoff pairings Monday.
When No. 27 Plaquemine (17-14) travels to No. 6 St. Michael (22-10) for game at 6 p.m. Thursday it will be 13 days since the teams met in District 6-4A action. SMHS won 62-37.
Another rematch sends No. 27 Maurepas (18-7) to play No. 6 Holden (24-8), a District 8-B rivalry rematch likely at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Wolves and Rockets played Friday and Holden won 56-32.
“That’s what makes it tough … having to play a team you just played,” Maurepas coach Brittany Lauzervich said. “You’d want to travel four hours. But it’s like I told our team, this is what we’ve got and it’s up to us to make the most of it.”
Another local match-up in Class 1A sends No. 23 East Iberville (14-16) to play No. 10 Southern Lab (16-10) at 6 p.m. Thursday at SU’s Seymour gym. Sixth-seeded White Castle (19-11) leads the 1A contingent and hosts No. 27 Tensas.
“All weekend long it looked like we’d play Grand Lake,” EIHS coach Cormanda Grace said. “Then it changed today. and that’s OK. We’re excited. We’ve got some common opponents with Southern Lab, like Glen Oaks.”
The best defense
University High hosts No. 32 Bogalusa to open its title defense. The game is tentatively set for 6 p.m. Thursday. UHS coach Bonita Johnson is stressing defense.
“I feel like we’re playing well now,” Johnson said. “Defense is always the key for us. So much of what we do on offense runs through our defense. When we play well on defense, it translates into offense.”
Walker hosts No. 31 Airline (21-7) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Redemptorist (22-7), the fourth seed in 2A, looks to make history in a final playoff appearance before the school’s planned closure in June.
“Getting the No. 2 seed says a lot about how hard these girls have worked,” Walker coach Korey Arnold said. “This one with Airline won’t be easy. They’re an experienced team. We beat them early in the year, but that doesn’t matter now.”
Redemptorist hosts No. 29 Lakeview also at 6:30 p.m.
“Our goal is to make a deep playoff run,” RHS coach Valencia Wilson said. “They know there are no guarantees. In the playoffs it’s not just about Xs and Os … it’s about who wants it more.”