Scotlandville’s the three-time reigning East Baton Rouge Parish basketball champion. They also enter this year’s event as the tournament’s top-seeded team further adding to the size of the bull’s-eye already on their collective backs.
“We work very hard, and I’m proud of what we’ve done in the past,” Scotlandville coach Carlos Sample said. “The kids need to understand there’s a tradition factor involved when they put on that uniform. Everyone’s gunning for us, and they’re going to play above their heads regardless if our team is experienced or not. We have to be able to accept that challenge and raise our level of play.”
Top-seeded Scotlandville (12-3) won’t get that opportunity until Saturday when the Hornets face the winner of No. 8 Broadmoor and No. 9 Central at 6 p.m.
The 15-team tournament officially tips off Friday with seven games at Southern University’s F.G. Clark Center, with the Broadmoor-Central first-round matchup at 10:30 a.m.
Games are scheduled on 90-minute intervals running through the day with the first potential headliner set for 6 p.m. between No. 7 Southern Lab (9-2), winners of its last seven games and No. 10 Glen Oaks (5-5).
Second-seeded Madison Prep Academy (13-1) closes out the first day at 7:30 p.m. against No. 15 Lee Magnet (2-8).
“We’re excited about participating in the parish tournament,” MPA coach Jeff Jones said. “It’s one of the more prestigious tournaments in this area with a lot of history and tradition. We lost in the semifinals (to Scotlandville) last year. We’re excited about coming back and going a little further.”
There will be seven games on Saturday starting at 10:30 a.m.. Winners bracket competition gets under way at 3 p.m.
Semifinals are scheduled at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday with the championship game set for 7:30 p.m. Monday.
“It can be any team,” Sample said. “There’s a lot of parity this year; more than ever. Is that good or bad? That remains to be seen. No one should take anyone lightly in this thing. It’s going to be real exciting. I see some upsets coming if you’re not prepared to play mentally.”
Madison Prep may be one of the tournament’s hottest teams, claiming its tournament title last weekend along with an impressive 87-52 win over Parkview Baptist on Tuesday.
Senior Brandon Sampson and sophomore Josh Anderson key the Chargers’ balanced attack, averaging 15 points apiece, while Rhode Island signee Christion Thompson averages 14 and 6-foot-8 center Yuruk Lazard 10.
“The history of the parish tournament is such where the top seed doesn’t always win,” Jones said. “There’s always upsets, and we realize that. A lot of people play their best basketball in the parish tournament. We’ll be grounded when it comes time to throw it up.”
Scotlandville’s re-tooled team has already won St. Amant’s Gold Dome Classic and has a pair of third-place finishes at the Landry-Walker and Country Day tournaments.
Tennessee-Chattanooga signee LaMarcus Lee’s 18-point average leads Scotlandville with Garrick Green (15), Jordan Adebutu (15) and JaVonte Smart (14) all contributing to a balanced scoring effort.
“Being the No. 1 seed really has no bearing on the outcome of the tournament,” Sample said. “My approach this year is totally different than in the previous five years. We’re so inexperienced in certain spots and guys have new roles. This is a good measuring stick, not just for us but for everybody involved.”