'Marsh Madness' comes to Burton Coliseum next week

By By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

Burton Coliseum will be on center stage for the next two weeks as “Marsh Madness,” the Top 28 state boys and girls basketball

championship tournaments, is held at Burton Coliseum.

The organizing committee that will help

oversee the tournaments along with the Louisiana High School Athletic

Association,

held its final planning meeting Wednesday. Tournament play begins

next week with the girls tournament, which will run Tuesday

through Saturday. The boys tournament will be March 11-15.

Eric Zartler of the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau said preparations have gone smoothly.

“The planning has gone well. The community stepped up. A lot of volunteers will be helping with this,” he said. “You can’t

do it without all those parts coming together. Everything has come together. Now we are at the point we are ready to throw

the ball up and start playing basketball.”

More than 100 people volunteered to help with the tournament, exceeding Zartler’s original hope of having about 70 people

helping.

He said he hopes the thousands of people coming into the area for the tournament will find a reason to come back to Southwest

Louisiana.

“Anytime you can bring that amount of people to your area, it can only help. It puts us on the map and lets people see what

we have to offer in the area,” he said.

“We are always hopeful they come back for something other than basketball. We see that all the time in other sports. They

come back and go fishing, check out the Creole Nature Trail, visit our parks and museums.”

Ten girls teams from Southwest Louisiana will play in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs today. Winners will qualify for

the Top 28 tournament.