Episcopal rides strong second half to win over Christian Life _lowres

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Stephen Dale

Coaches and players typically embrace the playoff norm of traveling to a far away location to play a team they’ve never seen. But for Christian Life coach Stephen Dale and Brusly coach Kirby Loupe there is no mystery this time around.

Both teams won’t have to go far to play district rivals at 7 p.m. Tuesday when the LHSAA’s boys basketball playoff continue.

“Last week, as it got close to time for the brackets to be released, it became pretty obvious to us that we’d play one of two teams from our district, either Episcopal or Dunham, in the second round if we won our first playoff game,” Dale said. “And you know what, our guys got excited about it.

“It is great to be able to go on the road for a game. But in this case we’re OK with taking that short ride up Perkins Road to Dunham.”

CLA (24-7), the 10th seed in 2A, plays seventh-seeded Dunham (27-5), a District 8-2A rival. Meanwhile, 15th-seeded Brusly (21-8), travels to second-seeded University High (27-4), a District 6-3A rival.

“One of the things I’ve stressed to my guys is that there are only 16 teams left in 3A, and we’re one of them,” Loupe said. “That’s an accomplishment in and of itself. Now we get another chance to play U-High.

“We’ve already looked at the film from the two times we played them and talked about adjustments. U-High is such a talented and tall team. We do have some height to match up with them. And unlike some teams, we know what we’re getting into.”

The Christian Life-Dunham and Brusly-University games help highlight the list of second-round of games in all seven classes.

If you believe in percentages, the Crusaders and Panthers should have the odds in their favor. CLA lost twice to Dunham by scores of 79-71 and 60-56.

The improved play of 6-foot-4 post player Francois-Xavier Roges, who has averaged 15 points during the second half of 8-2A play, has been crucial for the Crusaders. Brusly lost to U-High by scores of 97-42 and 54-35 in 6-3A. The Panthers have a 6-7 post player in Darian Jones to help match up with UHS’ 6-7 Wayde Sims and 6-6 Jalen Johnson.

Playoff notes

Defending state champion Scotlandville (31-2) is the only 5A team playing at home. The Hornets host No. 15 New Iberia, a team coached by former White Castle star Todd Russ. Game time is 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Glen Oaks (20-11), a 20th-seeded fresh off a 63-55 upset win over No. 13 Jennings, hosts No. 4 Wossman on Tuesday also in Class 3A. Another No. 20 seed, 2A Doyle (19-13) hosts fourth-seeded North Caddo, a team led by 6-8 Robert Williams, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Top-seeded Madison Prep (30-5) hosts Newman, and No. 5 Episcopal hosts No. 12 Ferriday also in 2A.

Only one local team remains in both 4A and 1A. Ninth-seeded Plaquemine (23-6) travels to Lafayette to play No. 8 Northside in 4A, while third-seeded Southern Lab (23-6) hosts Crescent City Christian in 1A.