“Fire and Ice” is one of Robert Frost’s most popular poems.
Those same words take on a different meaning for high school teams looking to navigate their way through the LHSAA’s basketball playoffs this week.
Winter storms forced a number of girls basketball teams to push their quarterfinal games to Thursday night. Which teams will have the competitive fire to make it through this unusual gauntlet?
Yes, that’s why we play the games. Defending Class 3A state champion University High, 3A Albany and Class B Holden are among the teams set to play their quarterfinals Saturday.
There’s an interesting storyline for sixth-seeded Holden’s quarterfinal with No. 3 Fairview at 6 p.m. Saturday. The two teams met in the quarterfinals last year with Fairview winning 98-29.
Holden was the last team to beat Fairview at the LHSAA state tourney, taking a 42-36 win over the Panthers in the 2006 Class B title game in Hammond. Since then Fairview has won eight straight Class B titles. Holden lost to Fairview 77-60 on the road Jan. 5.
There are some intriguing matchups that should punctuate the first round of the boys playoffs on Friday. And it’s different kind of gauntlet that shows things aren’t always be what they seem.
Ruston, seeded 21st, typically wouldn’t have a connection to Baton Rouge before its game with No. 12 Catholic High. However, RHS coach Bakari Beckwith spent a couple of seasons as coach at Zachary and also was among the candidates for the Southern Lab job last spring.
East Feliciana and Runnels used to be part of the same 2A district but will square off for the first time in two years Friday with Runnels seeded eighth. There’s some familiarity in 1A too. St. Mary’s-Natchitoches plays No. 1 Madison Pre. St. Mary’s coach Jason Templet was an assistant at Christian Life last season.
I asked several coaches about their opinion on the LHSAA seedings and got a predictable answer.
“It’s a number…you have to play,” one said of the seedings.
The LHSAA second classification meeting is set for 1 p.m. Thursday at the LHSAA office and is expected to last about three hours.
Schools will be given a chance to express their views on a second LHSAA districting plan and pitch alternate proposals.
Catholic hires Burmaster
Ponchatoula High defensive coordinator Matthew Burmaster has been hired as the new defensive coordinator at Catholic High.
Catholic announced the hiring of Burmaster on Wednesday, giving the former PHS, Covington and West Jefferson assistant a chance to meet with the players. Burmaster was a defensive coordinator at Ponchatoula and Covington.
Burmaster is a Jesuit graduate. He replaces Anthony Camp, who resigned late last year to become an assistant coach at Nicholls State.
Two Baton Rouge area teams ar set to play their Friday boys basketball playoff games at alternate gym sites.
In Class 5A, 17th-seeded McKinley will play No. 16 St. Paul’s at 7 p.m. Friday at Covington High. In 2A, 26th Northeast plays seventh-seeded Ferriday at 6 p.m. at Vidalia High.
Baton Rouge area schools are asked to submit their all-district soccer and basketball teams to The Advocate. The deadline for soccer is Feb. 28. The deadline for basketball is March 2.
Teams can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to (225) 388-0318.
Boys and girls basketball coaches are asked to submit their all-state nominations by using the same email/fax procedure.
Players nominated for all-state must be first-team all-district selections.
Coaches must include season statistics. Call Robin Fambrough at (225) 388-0142 with any questions.