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Five area teams one win from state finals

Last Modified: Friday, March 01, 2013 10:32 AM

By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

For Lacassine, Fairview, Pickering and Hathaway, semifinal games are par for the course. For Sulphur, its a new adventure as the Lady Tors are in the final four of Class 5A basketball playoffs for the first time since 1998.

Those five teams will be playing for a trip to the state championships tonight.

Lacassine, Fairview and Hathaway will be playing at the Lake Charles Regional at the Civic Center. Sulphur will face Natchitoches Central (26-4) at the Shreveport Regional at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, while Pickering will face a hostile environment against hometown St. Thomas Aquinas at the Hammond Regional.

Sulphur (27-3) has one senior starter, guard Hannah Cupit, but have grown up in a hurry and are on a 15-game winning streak.

“It feels great to be back in the semis. We try to focus on one game at a time with a young team, and they have done that,” said Tors head coach Helen LeFevre.

“Ouachita (which Sulphur defeated 71-69 in the quarterfinal round) had a very good team, but we played well and we had our chances to win at the end and it fell our way. We are excited to be here but know that we are going to face a tough Natchitoches Central team.

“They have a very good post player, they are guard strong, they can shoot and they can penetrate. They are going to play a full-court man-to-man against us. We are going to have to be ready to handle their pressure.”

Sulphur practiced at Burton Coliseum Thursday before departing for Shreveport and will have a practice at the arena this morning.

“We get to shoot at the arena in morning,” LeFevre said. “We went to Burton to give our kids a little while to get adjusted to shooting in a big arena. They seemed to shoot well. (Friday) we are going to get there early, watch a game before we play to kind of take in the atmosphere. The girls seemed focus.”

The big stage will be a familiar setting for the area’s other four semfinalists. Fairview and Lacassine both won at the Lake Charles regional last year before meeting in the state championship game in Ruston. Hathaway will be making its fourth semifinal appearance in the past five years.

Fairview (42-1) will play Florien (38-3) in a rematch of a Class B semifinal last year. The Panthers return all five starters from last season, including reigning Class B Player of the Year Natosha Morvant. The Panthers have won 31 straight games since losing to Class 4A quarterfinalist DeRidder on Nov. 29. Fairview has won six consecutive state championships.

Lacassine (38-1) will be playing District 7-B rival Hathaway (27-7) for the sixth time this season. The Cardinals swept all five previous games and have not lost since Nov. 20, winning their last 27. Their lone loss came to DeRidder. Hathaway’s seven losses have come to Lacassine, Fairview and DeRidder.

Pickering (28-3) reached the semifinals last year before losing to Iota at the Lake Charles Regional. The Red Devils are led by returning Class 2A all-state point guard Sami Thomas. Pickering beat St. Thomas Aquinas by one point in the regional round last season.

Action at the Civic Center will get under way at 2:45 p.m. with a Class 1A semifinal between Vermilion Catholic (26-6) and North Central (26-4). A Class 3A semifinal between Baker (24-5) and Abbeville (27-6) will follow at 4:30 p.m., followed by Fairview-Florien at 6:15 p.m. and Hathaway-Lacassine at 8 p.m.

The regional will continue Saturday with three boys semifinals.

Posted By: Barbara Bartlett On: 3/4/2013

Title: Florien didn't play Fairview last year.

If someone would look back on last years stats they would find out that Florien didn't play Fairview, they played Lacassine in the semi-finals. Every story leading up to the game kept saying rematch from last year. Lacassine went on to play Fairview in the finals and lost.

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