Iowa headed back to state basketball tournament

Published 11:17 pm Friday, March 1, 2024

IOWA — Powered by a boisterous packed house, No. 1 Iowa earned its return ticket to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Marsh Madness state tournament next week.

Iowa beat No. 8 Franklin Parish 80-55 to in the nonselect Division II quarterfinals on Friday.

“The intensity was from this crowd. It is like I told the boys when you run out of that huddle if you can’t get pumped up, I mean come on man. This crowd did it to us. What a great atmosphere.”

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Iowa will play No. 4 Brusly in the semifinals next week at Burton Coliseum. Brusly bested No. 5 Northwest 65-49 Friday.

“The schedule that we have played has put us into this position,” Melanson said. “We don’t want to just go back, we have another goal.

“We got to get a little further.”

Seniors Desamonte Gradney and Dashawn Ceaser led the way with a combined 61 points and several electric plays on dunks, slashes to the basket and sacrificing their bodies to get to the hoop. Ceaser opened the second half with a steal and dunk and finished with 29 points. He fed Gradney a perfect alley oop pass in the final minute and Gradney slammed it home. Gradney finished with 32 points.

Iowa, who has won 21 of its last 22 games, never trailed. Franklin Parish pulled within nine points on a three pointer by Drew Cooper with 1:34 left in the second quarter. But Iowa stepped up the pressure on defense in the third quarter, turning four turnovers in the first five minutes into eight points and a 50-33 lead.

The only advantage Franklin Parish held was in rebounding, 32-26. But Iowa battled in the lane with them, limiting Patriots to eight points off of offensive boards. Chris Addison had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Demarquis Hanks added 13 points and nine rebounds.

“We gave up a few rebounds in the first half. And we probably missed 10 buckets right at the rim in the first half. I knew it was going to come around. We just had to relax.”

Iowa shot 58.3 percent in the second half after shooting 37.1 in the first half.

Local boys quarterfinals
Division II
#1 Iowa 80
#8 Franklin Parish 55
Franklin Parish (24-12): Drew Cooper 12, Chris Addison 13, Demarquis Hanks 13. Iowa (28-4): Desamonte Gradney 32, Dashawn Ceaser 29.

Division IV
#1 Lakeview 63
#8 Welsh 52
Welsh (18-13). Lakeview (26-6).

#4 Pickering 50
#12 East Iberville 43
East Iberville (16-16). Pickering (24-9).

Division V
#6 Gibsland-Coleman 67
#3 Lacassine 64, OT
Gibsland-Coleman (16-9). Lacassine (35-4).

March 4-9 at Burton Coliseum
Division I
No. 5 Natchitoches Central vs. No. 8 Ruston
No. 2 Ponchatoula vs No. 3 New Iberia
Division II
No. 1 Iowa vs. No. 4 Brusly
No. 2 Wossman vs. No. 3 Carroll.
Division III
No. 8 Donaldsonville vs. No. 13 Red River
No. 3 Winnfield/No. 6 Marksville vs. No. 7 Richwood
Division IV
No. 1 Lakeview/No. 8 Welsh vs. No. 4 Pickering
No. 2 Ringgold vs. No. 6 Franklin
Division V
No. 1 Zwolle vs. No. 4 Negreet
No. 2 Anacoco vs. No. 6 Gibsland-Coleman
Division I
No. 1 St. Thomas More vs. No. 4 Pineville
No. 2 Liberty vs. No. 6 Southwood
Division II
No. 1 Madison Prep vs. No. 4 Archbishop Shaw
No. 2 Peabody vs. No. 3 George Washington Carver
Division III
No. 1 Isidore Newman vs. No. 13 Episcopal
No. 2 Dunham vs No. 3 University Lab
Division IV
No. 1 Crescent City vs. No. 5 Lincoln Prep
No. 2 St. Martin’s Episcopal vs. No. 3 Hamilton Christian
Division V
No. 1 Avoyelles Public Charter vs. No. 4 Rapides
No. 2 J.S. Clark Leadership Academy vs. No. 3 Episcopal of Acadiana