Last Modified: Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:50 AM
The area’s triumvirate of Class B girls high school basketball powers and two of the state’s traditional Class 4A boys powers will be the headliners of the Lake Charles Regional Friday and Saturday at the Lake Charles Civic Center.
Seven games will be played over two days, with four girls games Friday and three boys games on Saturday.
All of the local teams will be in action Friday, when Fairview and Lacassine will attempt to punch their tickets to a third consecutive Class B championship game. To get back, Lacassine will have to beat District 7-B rival Hathaway. Hathaway is in the semifinal round for the fourth time in five years.
Fairview, the six-time defending state champion, will meet Florien in a rematch of last year’s semifinal, which Fairview won 71-43.
Sulphur will play No. 2 Natchitoches Central at 6:15 p.m. Friday at the CenturyLink Arena in Bossier City.
Pickering will play St. Thomas Aquinas at 8 p.m. Friday in Hammond.
No area boys team reached the semifinals, but a few of the faces in the Civic Center on Saturday will be familiar ones. In the Class 4A semifinals, both Peabody and St. Thomas More will be making return trips to Lake Charles.
Top seed and defending champion Peabody, which will play No. 4 Northside in the nightcap Saturday night, played in the Barbe tournament in December and played a regular-season game at Washington-Marion. The Warhorses are 4-1 in Lake Charles this season, finishing second in the Barbe tournament. Peabody avenged its tournament title game loss to O.P. Walker on Tuesday night in a quarterfinal game.
No. 2 STM, which will play No. 11 Istrouma in the opener at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, opened the season in Lake Charles by winning the St. Louis tournament, then returned to win a regular-season game at Washington-Marion.
Istrouma will be playing its second playoff game in Lake Charles. The Indians beat Washington-Marion 60-54 in the regional round.
Saturday’s other game is a Class 1A semifinal, No. 3 North Central vs. No. 7 Arcadia.
The regional opens Friday with a 1A girls semifinal, No. 2 Vermilion Catholic vs. No. 3 North Central at 2:45 p.m., followed by a Class 3A game, No. 6 Abbeville vs. No. 2 Baker.
Last year’s regional drew 6,202 fans over three days. This will be the last year the regional format for the semifinal is used. Next year, the playoffs will return to the previous format with separate state tournaments for boys and girls. Each tournament will include the semifinal and final rounds.