North Louisiana sent five teams to Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles to various Division III through Division V semifinals in the Ochsner Marsh Madness Boy’s Basketball Championships. Four of those five reached the championship. Only reason five couldn’t have made it was that Zwolle and Gibsland-Coleman faced each other in the Division V semifinal which turned into a controversial classic. Winnfield, Calvary Baptist, Lincoln Prep, and Zwolle advanced to the state championship. The Zwolle Hawks were the only team to bring back a state championship to Northwest Louisiana as they captured the Division V Non Select State Title.
Division V Nonselect
Zwolle 81, Gibsland-Coleman 72 2OT
The Zwolle Hawks advanced to the Division V Nonselect state championship after an instant classic with the Gibsland-Coleman Bulldogs. The only downside was that one of our local teams had to be eliminated. It took two extra frames to send the Bulldogs back to Bienville Parish.
The Bulldogs ran into foul trouble late in the game. With four fouls and the Bulldogs on a run, a bounce of the backboard to Terrance James resulted in a power dunk and looked as if the Bulldogs were in control. A controversial technical foul was called on James resulting in his fifth foul and sent to the bench. Zwolle clawed back into regulation and a last second basket by Kenneth Montgomery sent the game to overtime. GCHS looked to have overcome the stunning last second shot and control overtime. Zwolle powered back again and another last second shot this time by Alec Williams on a three point shot to send it to a second overtime. Zwolle took control in the second overtime and the Bulldogs looked to have a lid on the basket as Zwolle advanced to finals
Zwolle was led by Kenneth Montgomery with 28. Preston Sanders scored 20. Howard Etheridge netted 11. Williams added 9 including the game tying 3 in the first OT.
Michael Woodford netted 16. Demarqius Durham added 16. Terrance James pocketed 13. Deavery Durham scored 11 for the Bulldogs.
Zwolle 40, Anacoco 25
This was the fourth meeting of the two squads as Anacoco had a 2-1 advantage during the season. The Hawks and Anacoco Indians played defensive championship battle with some offensive struggle. Zwolle shot 34% to Anacoco’s 25%. Zwolle’s Kenneth Montgomery scored the only three pointer of the game. Anacoco did keep the Hawks close with 6 blocks while Zwolle banged the boards for 25 defensive rebounds.
Zwolle took the first quarter lead at 6-4 and expanded it to a 16-11 halftime lead. The Hawks pushed the lead to 14 outscoring Anacoco 13-4 in the third quarter. Zwolle won all four quarters, edging out Anacoco 11-10 and winning the state title 40-25. Zwolle is now tied with Southern Lab for the most state championships with 16.
Kenneth Montgomery received MVP honors with his 14 point performance. Preston Sanders scored 13 points for the Hawks
Division III Nonselect
Winnfield 57, French Settlement 52
The Winnfield Tigers advanced to their first state championship. The Tiger relied on 20 points from Jaylon Jackson. Gerald Roberson dumped 10 points for the Tigers.
French Settlement took the low scoring first quarter 6-4. They held onto halftime 24-22. Winnfield jumped out to a second half lead after three quarters to 38-34. The Tigers advanced to the championship game with the 57-52 win.
Port Allen 73, Winnfield 56
Port Allen Pelicans claimed their fourth consecutive state championship with a 73-56 win over championship newcomer Winnfield. Jaylon Jackson shot 9 for 18 and scored 21 points. Keithan Hamilton added 19 for the Tigers. Decavian Duncan scored 10 points.
Port Allen took a 10-point lead in the first quarter and carried a 21-11 lead into the second. Winnfield came back with a strong second quarter and captured a 33-31 halftime lead. Port Allen opened up in the third with an 18-11 third quarter to retake the lead 49-44. The Pelican stayed strong in the fourth to capture their fourth consecutive state crown.
Division III Select
Calvary Baptist 52, Catholic-New Iberia 47
Some hot shooting by KJ Kennon and Malakai Thomas along with double-digits from Rondae Hill pushed the Cavaliers to their fourth consecutive state championship. Kennon and Thomas shot lights out with 66% from the field. Kennon was the leading scorer with 14 points. Hill backed him up with 12. Thomas netted 10. All three banged the boards collecting 8 rebounds each.
Catholic-New Iberia took the first quarter lead at 14-13. Calvary bounced back in the second quarter outscoring the Panthers 15-8 and taking a 28-22 halftime lead. Calvary added a basket more lead in the third quarter with a 38-30 lead. The Panthers closed in but Calvary held on for the 52-47 win.
Isidore Newman 52, Calvary Baptist 42
The Cavaliers finished as state runner-up for the fourth consecutive year as the No. 1 seed Newman Green Wave took the crown with the 52-42 win. Calvary struggled with shooting only 28% from the field. KJ Kennon was the only double digit scorer with 15 points. Kennon was 3 for 7 from beyond the arc. Malakai Thomas snagged 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
The shooting woes began early as the Cavaliers could only manage two point in the first quarter starting down 10-2. The defense kept the Cavaliers within reach as they outscored the Green Wave 7-6. Newman had a 16-9 halftime lead. Newman took advantage as the Cavaliers posted a third single digit scoring period. Newan outscored Calvary 21-8 and took a 37-17 third quarter lead. Calvary woke up in the fourth and posted a strong 25 point fourth quarter but not enough to overcome the 20-point gap as Isidore Newman won their 11th state title.
Division IV Select
Lincoln Prep 62, Crescent City 56 OT
After a two year absence in the state championship, Coach Antonio Hudson took the Panthers back to the finals with a 62-56 overtime win over Crescent City Pioneers. The Panthers were led by Kobe Mack with 18 points. Braylyn Mayfiend pulled a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Stephen Burks shot 3 for 6 from 3-point land in scoring 9.
Lincoln Prep took the early lead in the first quarter up 13-11. The Pioneers rolled in the second quarter and grabbed the 26-21 halftime lead. The Panthers, not to be outdone, outscored 18-8 and the 39-34 third quarter lead. Crescent City forced an extra frame pushing to 48-48 at the end of regulation. LIncoln Prep took advantage in overtime pulling out the 62-56 win
Northwood-Lena 73, Lincoln Prep 56
The Lincoln Prep Panthers just so happen to run in the year of basketball for Northwood-Lena. The Gator claimed the boys title with the win. The Lady Gators won the girls basketball title the previous week. The battle on the court was between LP’s Braylyn Mayfield with his 32 points and NW-Lena’s Omarion Layssard with his double-double of 34 points and 11 rebounds. The Panthers struggled behind the arc with Brandon Heard hitting the only one.
The Panthers pounced early with the first quarter 15-14 lead. Northwood-Lena grabbed the halftime lead at 27-23. The Gators pushed the lead to double digits with a 17-8 third quarter at 44-31. A scoring frenzy broke out in the final quarter as Lincoln Prep attempted to claw back to a title but the Gators matched them and held on to the 73-56 win.