For some, making the playoffs are a lock.
For others, it’s a fight to earn seeding or a potential chance at a home game.
And still for a few, these last few games of the year will determine whether there is a postseason at all.
Several locals are currently expected to make the state basketball playoffs, but there is still so much uncertainty in the final weeks of the season.
The girls’ basketball season ends this week with playoff competition to begin next week around the state.
The boys’ regular season ends next week with playoff competition to follow.
In Class 5A, there are some huge games coming down the stretch of the season.
On the boys’ side, Thibodaux sits comfortably as the No. 1 team in the state — a position they’ve held throughout most of the season. The Tigers will almost certainly carry a Top 4 seed into the State Playoffs, which could ensure the team home playoff games until a potential date in the Top 28 — depending on how the bracket falls.
The Tigers have depth, size, speed and immense talent. They’ve rolled through a difficult district without defeat so far this season.
But while Thibodaux is sitting pretty, their rivals are on thin ice — in dire need of strong finishes.
H.L. Bourgeois is currently the No. 30 seed in Class 5A — narrowly in the projected 32-team postseason field.
The Braves have lost three of their past four games at press-time and have to finish strong with Destrehan, Terrebonne and Hahnville on the schedule coming home.
The same recipe is in play for Terrebonne.
The Tigers are at No. 32 right now with no margin for error in the final weeks of the season. Terrebonne plays four games in the next two weeks (three at home). They likely need to win three of the four to feel safe about their postseason hopes, though they can maybe get into the field with two wins.
On the girls’ side of Class 5A, two are playing for seeding and another is playing for its playoff life.
H.L. Bourgeois’ girls are No. 12 and must finish strong to carry a Top 16 seed and a home first-round game. The same can be said for Thibodaux, which is currently No. 14 and in the same boat.
The Lady Braves face Walker and Destrehan to close the year. Thibodaux will face Hahnville and Destrehan.
At the bottom of the potential bracket, Terrebonne needs to get hot fast, currently sitting at No. 33 in the 32-team field — the last team out. The Lady Tigers face East St. John and Central Lafourche this week — both at home. They likely have to win both to feel safe.
In Class 4A, teams are mostly just jockeying for position.
On the boys’ side, Ellender currently sits at No. 14 — in need of a strong finish to host an opening-round game. The Patriots faced Assumption last night with no score at press-time — a potentially huge game for the team’s seeding hopes. It also was effectively the District 7-4A Championship Game, as well.
The Patriots play several freshmen and are getting better, having won six of the past eight games.
“It’s coming along,” Patriots coach Cornell Scott said. “We try hard not to rebuild. We try and reload. These kids are young, but they work hard and have come a long way.”
On the girls’ side of the Class 4A projections, there are a slew of locals hoping to win the state championship.
Three local teams — South Terrebonne, Ellender and South Lafourche — are in the Top 6 in the state at press-time. They sit at No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 in the state rankings, respectively. All three teams want to stay in the Top 8 in the rankings in the final week of the season to try and secure a chance at both a home first and second-round playoff game. If the Lady Gators can stay in the Top 4, they’d also potentially have a chance to potentially be home in all three of the first playoff games — if able to advance.
In Division II, both E.D. White and Vandebilt girls and boys will make the playoffs as automatic qualifiers in the smaller, condensed bracket.
“Our district is so strong this year,” South Lafourche girls’ basketball coach Rainie Terrebonne said. “The competition is great and every game has been a challenge.”
In Division IV/Class 1A, neither Houma Christian nor CCA have to worry about being in the postseason. They’re both automatically in the Division IV playoff brackets with automatic bids.
But seeding implications are in play on both sides in the final run toward the postseason.
On the girls’ side, Houma Christian sits at No. 2 — lagging just behind Lafayette Christian, the team that’s beaten them in the State Championship Game the past two seasons.
The Christian Warriors had a rare lull recently, falling to Ellender, KIPP Booker T. Washington and South Terrebonne in three-straight games. But they’ve since rebounded, beating West St. John and H.L. Bourgeois as part of a lengthy win streak.
CCA sits at No. 21 with a 2-16 record.
On the boys’ side, both Houma Christian and CCA have had tough seasons. The Warriors are No. 12 at press-time, while CCA is No. 18. Both teams are attempting to finish the season strong to earn a higher playoff seed.
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