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Arceneaux: Final week of hoops regular season worth watching

Last Modified: Saturday, February 02, 2013 9:56 PM

By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

Shawn Duhon has mastered the art of self-promotion.

After an Iowa-Westlake game last year, Duhon came up to me, introduced himself and told me to remember his name.

Friday night, he made sure I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon, throwing done a putback dunk to give Iowa a two-point win over South Beauregard. The game was a welcome diversion from a week of debates about the merits of splitting the public and private schools.

Heading into the final week of the hoops regular season, there are plenty of are athletes and teams that are worth our attention, particularly in the title chases for the boys titles.

Duhon and his Yellow Jackets teammates can clinch the District 4-3A title Tuesday night when they host the Westlake Rams, who won the first game between the teams. The Rams have won six of their last seven games and will get at least a share of the district title by winning out this week.

Iowa has won just five playoffs games in the last three decades, none since 2010. That could change this season with an experienced group of seniors, but the Yellow Jackets probably need to win the district and get the accompanying bonus point to its power ranking to ensure getting a home playoff game.

Westlake is in the same boat, sitting on the bubble for a first-round home game. The Rams have a pair of tall, versatile athletes in juniors Tyler Johnson and Jacory Washington. Like the Yellow Jackets, the Rams have an experienced nucleus, but not a lot of recent success. The Rams have not won a postseason game since 2000. Winning the district and getting a chance to end that drought at home would be a big boost to the program.

Elsewhere, Washington-Marion’s loss at Opelousas Friday has the District 4-4A title up for grabs. The Charging Indians still have a one-game lead over Opelousas, but W-M has a difficult finish to the season with a tough trip to Beau Chene, which nearly won the first game between the two in Lake Charles, and a regular season finale against rival LaGrange. The Gators only lost by three in the first W-M game and finally have some good momentum going, winning all three games following the loss to W-M.

The Gators are fighting for a playoff spot and could get a big power rating boost this week with wins over Opelousas and W-M. Opelousas needs to win its three games this week — including a make-up game against St. Louis — and hope W-M loses at least once to get at least a share of the district crown.

In District 4-2A, neighbors Rosepine and Pickering appear to be on a collision course for a tiebreaker game after splitting its two district games. Neither team has lost to anyone else in the district.

Despite a home loss to Elton last week, Hamilton Christian still controls its own destiny in the 5-1A race, but face a tough trip to Oberlin this week. A loss could result in a three-way between the Warriors, Tigers and Indians.

• • •

Warren Arceneaux covers high school athletics. Email him at warceneaux@americanpress.com

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