Who's at the top of Livingston Parish basketball? Parish tournament should answer the question.

The Walker boys and Denham Springs girls were awarded the top seeds in the annual Livingston Parish basketball tournament being played this week at the Maurepas gym.

The selection of Walker as the favorite on the boys side comes as no surprise given the Wildcats are hunting their fourth straight parish tournament championship.

On the girls side, Denham Springs heads a bracket that is strong and balanced as usual.

Action in the five-day, 24-game tournament concludes with championship games Saturday. The girls title game is set for 6 p.m., followed by the boys final.

Walker had something of a coming-out party in the 2015 parish tournament as a sophomore-laden lineup surged from behind against favored Denham Springs and won the title game 46-45 on a last-second layup. The Wildcats won 20 games that season to set the tone for last year's state championship run.

The last two years, Walker has made short work of Live Oak in the championship game.

Live Oak enters as the No. 2 seed this season and will look to get another crack at the Wildcats in Saturday's tournament finale.

Walker will play its first game of the tournament at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against the winner of French Settlement's first-round matchup with Maurepas.

The Wildcats got a late start to the season as coach Anthony Schiro waited for his dual-sport athletes to return from the football field. They opened with an 80-57 victory at Ponchatoula, then went 2-2 during action at the Hamilton Christian tournament last weekend in Lake Charles.

The highlight of the Lake Charles trip for the Wildcats was a 72-67 win over Landry-Walker in a rematch of the Class 5A title game last spring.

The Denham Springs girls come into the parish tournament with an impressive 6-2 mark under new coach Blake Zito, who took over the program after Shelly Laprarie stepped down following her 20th season at the helm.

Stiff competition surely awaits.

Holden and Albany have some of the richest tradition of any programs in the area, and they were pitted against each other in a 4-vs.-5 matchup to open the tournament.

Holden has won the tournament each of the past two seasons and lost in the championship game the season before that. The Lady Rockets went on to win the Class B title last year, but have gotten off to a slow start this season with a rebuilt roster.

Walker is seeded second behind LSU signee Tiara Young, who will make her parish tournament debut after transferring from Evangel.

Third-seeded Doyle already has a convincing win over Holden on its 2018-19 resume.

Denham Springs sees its first action of the tournament at 6 p.m. Thursday against the Springfield-Maurepas winner.

The Yellow Jackets lost to Holden in the tournament final each of the past two years after defeating the Lady Rockets in the 2015 title game.

Scott Hotard covers sports for The Livingston-Tangipahoa Advocate. He can be contacted at shotard44@gmail.com or livingston@theadvocate.com.