Saturday, March 13, 2010

Top 28 Action Day 5: Class C, 1A, 2A, 4A and 5A State Championship Games

Championship Saturday!! What more can I ask for being a basketball junkie like I am? A day that is going to be filled with some of the state's top teams, nationally ranked players, undefeated teams and defending champions will all be on tap. One game that most people have their eyes set on will be today's Class 1A game featuring  LSU signee Matt Derenbecker(right) of Country Day and St. Joseph's signee Langston Galloway of Christian Life. This game has been played in the Cajun Dome every year for the past four. The first two meetings were won by Christian Life in the championship game, last year's meeting was a CLA loss in the semi's and this year's game is for the Title as well. This game not only features 4 Division 1 signees but it features very good friendship's as well. Derenbecker, Galloway and CLA's Patrick Robinson all played for the Mid-City Cyclones AAU team together that also featured Jesuit's Dominick Scelfo. Derenbecker, Galloway and Robinson have gotten very close over the past year and have often mentioned CLA's loss last year to the Cajuns. With an overwhelming amount of trash talk amongst the friends over the past year, all will be decided and setteled at 1:30 today in Lafayette. No more talking, no more "wait until saturday", all that is going to be left is to play ball and see what happens. This game is going to be fun to watch so you do not want to miss a single minute. The biggest X-factor of this year's game will be the play of 6'5" senior McCall Tomeny(below), whose 26 points led CLA over Plain dealing on thursday.

In the second session of the day, the 2A game will also feature a game amongst friends. Riverside Academy's Cedric Jenkins and Ricardo Gathers played AAU with Jonesboro-Hodge's TJ Williams with the Louisiana Select Nike team. Not sure if the players have sent a lot of texts to each other or not but one sure thing will happen and that is that no love will be lost when the teammates face each other today at 5:00. We will definitely be entertained as Williams, a 6'7" 230 lb senior will battle head to head with the 6'6" 225 lb sophomore Gathers. In the 5A game we will see Scotlandville against Brother Martin. SMHS will be led by Stephen F. Austin signee J-Jay Thomas and Levie Wright. BM will look to senior Patrick Swilling to lead the way. In the final game of the evening, it will be 40-0 Peabody taking on 38-1 Bossier. Peabody features 6'4" Oklahoma state signee Markel Brown(pictured above) and 6'6" sophomore Troy Jones. Bossier is led by junior Jalan West and sophomore JJ James.

Now it is time for our predictions where below you will see the daily talk and preview from Brady and Kevin with the Daily Advertiser. For further Top 28 Action coverage check in at the Daily Advertiser.

Class C State Championship
Athens over Pleasant Hill

Class 1A State Championship
Christian Life over Country Day

Class 2A State Championship
Riverside over Jonesboro-Hodge

Class 4A State Championship
Peabody over Bossier

Class 5A State Championship
Scotlandville over Brother Martin

Class C Top 28 State Championship Capsules

Athens Trojans

Coach: Marcus Jackson.
Record: 39-4.
Seed: No. 2.

Playoff road: Beat Holy Rosary 91-25, Marion 76-47, Grace Christian 75-27, Spearsville 75-53

Top scorers: Devarius Critton, 6-2, Sr, 16.0 ppg; Willie Cato, 5-11, Sr, 15.0 ppg; Earvin Sneed, 5-11, So, 14.0 ppg; Quartez McDaniel, 6-2, Jr, 12.0 ppg.

Top 28 history: 11th appearance with three titles and five runner-up finishes.

Notes: In addition to an eventful recent history at the Top 28, Athens also brings a healthy resume to this year's Top 28. The Trojans have three wins over fellow semifinalist Saline, split two games with Class 1A semifinalist Arcadia, and also went 1-1 in two games against Class 4A Minden.


Coach: Dale Skinner.
Record: 33-6.
Seed: No. 1.

Road to the Top 28: Beat McManus 89-38, Calvin 73-52, Grand Isle 65-47, Saline 65-51

Top scorers: Matthew Scott, 6-3, Sr, 17.0 ppg; Ledarius Holmes, 5-8, So, 13.0 ppg; Aaron Holmes, 5-8, Fr, 12.0 ppg; Latarius Turner, 6-2, Sr, 12.0 ppg; Damaris Holmes, 6-2, Jr, 11.0 ppg.

Top 28 history: Eighth appearance with two titles and three runner-up finishes.

Notes: Not only is Skinner the team's basketball coach, but he's also the principal of the school. Pleasant Hill was 3-2 against Zwolle and has wins over Many and Leesville this season.

Class 1A Top 28 State Championships

Country Day Cajuns

Coach: Mike McGuire.
Record: 41-5.
Seed: No. 2.

Playoff road: Beat Catholic-PC 91-47, Varnado 86-51, White Castle 69-53, Arcadia 64-56

Top scorers: Matt Derenbecker(right), 6-7, Sr, 25.5 ppg; Nick Hansel, 6-3, Jr, 12.5 ppg; Hunter Ham, 6-4, Sr, 10.5 ppg; Dylan Kavanagh, 5-11, Sr, 8.0 ppg.

Top 28 history: Ninth appearance with three titles and three runner-up finishes.

Notes: The Country Day-Arcadia semifinals pairing represents a rematch of last year's championship game won by the Cajuns, 61-47. Derenbecker was MVP of last year's championship game (31 points, nine rebounds). Country Day also defeated Arcadia, 80-58, in the 2008 semifinals.

Christian Life Academy

Coach: Carlo Maggio
Record: 35-5.
Seed: No. 1.

Playoff road: Beat Oberlin 92-41, Gueydan 91-36, East Iberville 73-49, Plain Dealing 48-45

Top scorers: Langston Galloway(right), 6-4, Sr, 26.0 ppg; Patrick Robinson, 6-6, Sr, 16.0 ppg; McCall Tomeny(left), 6-4, Sr, 14.0 ppg.

Top 28 history: Eighth appearance with four titles (including three straight from 2006-08) and two runner-up finishes.

Notes: This is CLA's fifth straight appearance. Galloway is a St. Joseph's of Philadelphia signee, while Robinson signed with Northwestern State. Maggio was at Plainview last season. Todd Foster left CLA to begin his career as a college coach at Baton Rouge C.C.

Class 2A Top 28 State Championships

Jonesboro-Hodge Tigers

Coach: Allen Tew.
Record: 26-9.
Seed: No. 15.

Playoff road: Beat Capitol 73-63, ST Aquinas 65-62 (OT), Donaldsonville 86-58, Red River 56-47

Top scorers: Thomas Williams(right), 6-7, Sr, 23.1 ppg; Kevin Cottonham, 5-8, Soph, 11.7 ppg; LaQuinten Calahan, 6-1, Sr, 7.5 ppg.

Top 28 history: Eighth appearance with three titles and 1 runner-up finish.

Notes: Lost in the state semifinals in 2002, 2005, 2007. Took third place in District 3-2A behind Many and Red River, who tied for first. Defeated Red River once in three games this season, giving the Bulldogs their only home loss. Williams has received scholarship offers from 10 teams, including UL Monroe, Grambling, Southeastern and UT-San Antonio.

Riverside Rebels

Coach: Timmy Byrd.
Record: 37-6.
Seed: No. 1.

Playoff road: Beat Sterlington 102-52, Port Barre 103-68, Springfield 72-52, Evangel 75-49

Top scorers: Ricardo Gathers(left), 6-7, Soph, 20.0 ppg; Cedric Jenkins(right), 6-2, Sr, 19.0 ppg; Louis Dabney, 6-3, Soph, 13.0 ppg; Ed Gallina, 6-5, Sr, 11.0 ppg; Franklin Francois, 5-7, Sr, 8.0 ppg.

Top 28 history: First appearance.

Notes: This is the school's first boys basketball playoff appearance since 2005. The Rebels do so as the No. 1-ranked team in Class 2A. Of course, the cast is different. Byrd and all of his starters were Reserve Christian Eagles last year. All moved over to Riverside when Reserve Christian closed its doors in May.

Class 4A Top 28 State Championships
Bossier Bearkats

Coach: Jeremiah Williams.
Record: 38-1.
Seed: No. 2.

Playoff road: Beat Franklinton 108-70, Neville 83-74, Ellender 76-62, Washington-Marion 80-60

Top players: Jalan West(right), 5-10, Jr, 15.5 ppg; Joseph James, 5-8, Jr, 13.3 ppg; Devonte Francis(left), 5-11, Soph, 13.6 ppg; Lyndale James, 6-5, Jr, 7.9 ppg.

Top 28 history: Sixth appearance with a pair of runner-up finishes.

Notes: This is Bossier's second straight season in the Top 28. The Bearkats are led by their speedy, pressure-packed backcourt with West leading the way 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals a game.
picture courtesy of Brad Kemp the Daily Advertiser
Peabody War Horses

Coach: Charles Smith
Record: 40-0
Seed: No. 1.

Playoff road: Beat Woodlawn 80-26, McDonogh-35 57-28, Istrouma 53-40, Glen Oaks 65-52

Top players: Markel Brown(right), 6-5, Sr, 32.5 ppg; Troy Jones, 6-7, Soph, 15.5 ppg; Joshua Ivory, 6-2, Soph, 10.5 ppg; Kalvin Balque, 6-5, Sr, 12.5 ppg.

Top 28 history: 19th trip with 5 championships and 4 runner-up finishes.

Notes: Peabody is making its first trip to the Top 28 since 2007. The last time Peabody was here stars such as Raphelle Turner and Marcus Simmons led the Warhorses to the 4A state championship.

Class 5A Top 28 State Championships

Scotlandville Hornets

Coach: Carlos Sample
Record: 33-5.
Seed: No. 2.

Playoff road: Beat Denham Springs 65-57, Natchitoches Central 75-63, Covington 89-83, Jesuit 60-58

Top scorers: J-Jay Thomas(right), 6-4, Sr, 24.2 ppg; Levi Wright, 6-1, Jr, 16.5 ppg; Deshawn Washington, 5-9, Soph, 11.3 ppg.

Top 28 history: First trip.

Notes: The Hornets won their first district title since 1975 this year. In the modern LHSAA format, the last time the team advanced to the quarterfinals was in 1977. Scotlandville did win a state title in 1959 in the old LIALO. Thomas averages 11 rebounds and is a Stephen F. Austin signee.

Brother Martin Crusaders

Coach: Scott Thompson
Record: 29-10.
Seed: No. 9.

Playoff road: Beat Lafayette High 56-49, Ponchatoula 66-63, St. Augustine 62-58, Hammond 68-66

Top scorers: Patrick Swilling(right), 6-4, Sr, 18.3 ppg; Schane Rillieux, 5-11, Jr, 14.1 ppg; Ryan Berger, 6-4, Sr, 8.7 ppg; Myron Chapman, 6-2, Soph, 7.5 ppg

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