Angst for some girls basketball coaches as they await release of pairings _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND -- Broadmoor girls basketball coach Terrence Gillette has the girls basketball team off to a 14-5 start, which includes a runner-up finish at the EBR tournament.

Instead of making next week’s practice plans, The Dunham School’s Chad Myers spent his Saturday tracking down scores and figuring power rankings to down to fractions of a point.

Myers’ Broadmoor High counterpart, Terrence Gillette, had practice as usual and perused a few websites to check out where his team might fall when the LHSAA releases its girls basketball playoff pairings Monday.

The coaches represent two sides of a playoff coin that can be as complicated or as simple as one wants to make it.

“I’ve been trying to figure it out all day,” Myers said. “It’s basic bracketology. Right now it looks like we’ll be the No. 27 seed, but we could be No. 28. We know we’ll be on the road, but will we play Pine, North Caddo or Jonesboro-Hodge? All three are possible.”

Myers’ Class 2A Dunham squad (18-12) is young and seeking playoff experience. Broadmoor (21-9) is a senior-laden 5A squad and whether the Bucs host as a No. 16 seed or travel as a No. 17 seed isn’t a huge factor for Gillette.

“This is either our 11th or 12th straight year in the playoffs,” Gillette said. “There are advantages either way. If we’re 16th, we play at home. But if you’re a 17 seed and play on the road you can host the No. 1 seed if you win, which is something we’ve done before.”

There are few guaranteed home games for Baton Rouge area teams. Only District 4-5A champion Walker (27-5) is a safe bet to host in 5A. Broadmoor is on the bubble at No. 16 in the unofficial rankings released Friday by the LHSAA.

District 5-5A champion St. Joseph’s Academy (16-11) jumped eight spots in a week to No. 18. Zachary and Scotlandville will be road warriors.

St. Michael the Archangel (22-10) was fifth in Class 4A and set to play at home. Plaquemine (17-14) should fall between 27th and 32nd. PHS coach Brannon Dillon relishes the opportunity. The Green Devils haven’t been to the playoffs since 2012. The thought of playing a 4A power like Warren Easton or defending state champion Salmen as No. 31 or 32 seed doesn’t bother Belaire coach Ella Reado.

“The important thing is for these girls to have that experience, whether it’s Warren Easton or Salmen,” Reado said. “Those teams are up there for a reason, and we can learn from playing them.”

Class 3A University High (27-2), the defending state champion, was the area’s lone No 1 power rankings team as of Friday. Last year’s runner-up, Ville Platte, is second. Albany, Parkview Baptist and Brusly all figure to host games.

Redemptorist leads the 2A contingent at No. 4, just behind Hammond’s St. Thomas Aquinas. Doyle, last year’s 2A runner-up, is eighth. French Settlement and Episcopal also expect to host games.

White Castle (19-11) led the 1A group at No. 7 and was rated five spots ahead of Southern Lab. Southern Lab ranks ahead of Madison Prep, which is in that 16 or 17-seed predicament. MPA beat the Kittens to win the District 6-1A title last week.

Ascension Catholic, at No. 15, also figures to get a home game 1A. In Class B, Holden (24-8) is seeded sixth and is guaranteed a home game.

“We put so much into getting through district,” St. Joseph’s coach deLynn Stelly said. “Our goal was to make the playoffs, which is something we didn’t do last year.

“We’re going to enjoy it for a day or two and then get back at it once we see who we’re playing on Monday.”