The Live Oak wrestling team finished second in the Division II state meet on Friday and Saturday in Bossier City, with a pair of Eagles bringing home individual state championships.
Individual champions Ean Hill and Ethan Alphonso helped the Eagles push Teurlings Catholic in the team standings, but Live Oak couldn’t keep the Rebels from winning their fifth state title in six years. Tuerlings finished with 261.5 points to Live Oak’s 237.
Hill won top honors in the 126-pound weight class by defeating Rummel’s Robert Fairchild, while Alphonso took first in the 132-pound weight class with a victory over North DeSoto’s Chase Bates.
Brennan Webb lost to Andrew Aucoin, of Sam Houston, in the 145 finals to finish second.
“We knew coming in that the state tournament was going to be as close as it’s been,” Live Oak coach Chris Collier said. “It could have shaken out any number of ways. But the boys did a fantastic job, exceeding their seed, so to speak. It was a complete team effort.”
Jarrett Rupport in 152 and Mason Castle in 182 also had strong showings for Live Oak as they finished third in their respective weight classes. Finishing fourth were Bayley Hebert in 106, Kyle Roberts in 160 and Anthony Ingram in 220.
Elsewhere in the state meet, Brother Martin won the Division I title and De La Salle was first in Division III.
Live Oak placed third in the state meet last year.
Collier said the future is bright for the Eagles with a senior-laden team returning next season.
“Next year has a chance to be a special year for us,” he said.
Denham girls prepare for basketball playoffs
Last year, the Denham Springs girls basketball team didn’t even qualify for the state playoffs. This year, the Yellow Jackets will be one of the top seeds.
After finishing tied with Zachary atop the District 4-5A standings with a 9-1 mark in league play, Denham was 26-3 overall as the Yellow Jackets awaited the release of the state playoff brackets Monday afternoon.
“I think it’s a testament to how hard the kids have come back and worked to get us in this position,” Denham Springs coach Shelly Laprarie said. “It’s nice to see how that hard work has paid off.”
Based on the unofficial LHSAA power ratings posted Sunday, Denham was in line to secure the No. 5 seed in Class 5A behind Mandeville, Mount Carmel, Natchitoches Central and Barbe and would have a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
Denham had wracked up 19 wins in a row before falling at Zachary in its penultimate game of the regular season.
A coin toss Friday night broke the tie between Denham and Zachary to decide the district champion. Laprarie called heads and won the toss.
Based on the unofficial power ratings, Denham and Zachary were expected to have Walker, Scotlandville and Live Oak join them in the 5A field to give 4-5A five teams in the playoffs.
Walker (19-13), the state runner-up last year, was projected as the No. 16 seed and would have a first-round home game. Live Oak (16-14) was projected as the No. 26 seed and was expected to travel.
In the 3A playoffs, Albany (23-8) was listed at No. 6 in the power ratings Sunday and was expecting to host a first-round playoff game.
The young Hornets finished second in 8-3A this season with their only two losses coming to unbeaten Jewel Sumner.
Holden (22-6) was the other Livingston Parish girls team expected to receive a high playoff seed as the Rockets entered Monday at No. 4 in the unofficial Class B power ratings.
Denham Springs boys continue upward trend
A rash of injuries and the inherent adjustments that come under a new coach contributed to a slow start for the Denham Springs boys basketball team.
Two more wins last week continued a late-season surge by the Yellow Jackets, who entered the final week of the regular season with an 8-1 mark in 4-5A and had won 11 of their last 12 games overall.
Going into the new year, Denham (16-12) had a 5-11 record in coach Kevin Caballero’s first year.
The Yellow Jackets will get a crack at avenging their only loss since they met defending state champion Scotlandville on Friday night at Hornsby Gym to close the regular season. Denham was scheduled to play at Walker on Tuesday.
Denham boys, Live Oak girls fall in soccer playoffs
No. 10 seed Grace King rallied from a 1-0 halftime deficit to beat the Denham Springs boys 3-1 in the second round of the Division I soccer playoffs, a loss that stopped the seventh-seeded Yellow Jackets one win shy of matching last year’s quarterfinal run and ended the prep careers of the team’s 10 seniors.
Andrew Finley had the only goal for Denham in the playoff loss, scoring in the 17th minute for the 1-0 lead. Almedin Tursunorie led the Grace King comeback with two second-half scores.
Denham senior Camden Hilliard finished three goals shy of 100 for his career.
In the girls soccer playoffs, No. 15 seed Live Oak was beaten 7-1 by No. 2 seed Ben Franklin in the second round.
The Eagles had reached the matchup with Ben Franklin by beating South Terrebonne in extra time for the first playoff win in program history.