Lafayette Christian, Midland vie for Top 28 _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Lafayette Christian Academy Basketball coach Byron Starks

Many teams entered, only two remain.

Lafayette Christian Academy was one of two Acadiana-area teams, along with Class B’s Midland, to advance past the regional round in the LHSAA boys basketball playoffs.

But LCA coach Byron Starks is only worried about one thing: getting his team back into the Top 28 after last season’s semifinal exit at the hands of Madison Prep.

Lafayette Chritsian hosts White Castle on Friday night in a Class 1A quarterfinal game.

“It will be another building block for our program, and another opportunity for us to set the standard,” Starks said. “So the chance to experience another Top 28 would be really great for our kids and for our overall program.

“Even down to our eighth grade, those kids that are watching us and seeing what they could potentially do when they are ready.”

Starks said he hasn’t paid attention to what any of the other teams from his area have, instead focusing on his team’s upcoming challenges.

“I don’t even look at it from that standpoint; I just know we are fighting for our basketball lives,” Starks said. “Those are things that the normal fans or media looks at. We are just trying to compete.

“We are trying to win a ball game, and I think when you take care of our own and take care of what you’ve got to do, it makes it a whole lot easier than us worrying about any other team around the area.”

While not concerned with other results,

Starks said he would like to see as many teams from the area advance as possible.

“We hope that they would win and we would like for them to win because it’s good for basketball in our community,” Starks said. “But really, we’re just trying to compete for our program.”

LCA’s experience in the semifinal last season has the Knights ready to return to Lake Charles, but Starks knows how difficult it is to reach that stage and isn’t taking anything for granted.

Many of the Knights players played significant minutes during last year’s playoff run, including team leaders Jacob and Kalob Ledoux.

“In the quarterfinal stage it can be anyone’s ball game. It’s really more about the will along with the skill, and I think we have both right now,” Starks said.

“Most of these guys experienced it last season; some of the guys saw some significant minutes on the floor. So they understand what it takes.”

Starks said his team appreciates the opportunity that has been presented to them, and realizes what another deep run into the playoffs means for LCA.

“People don’t realize how difficult that can be,” Starks said. “You’ve got coaches who have been in this business a long time and have never made it to that point.”