St. Louis’ Karlin Hardy drives while guarded by LCCP’s C. Reed at Lake Charles Charter Academy in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Friday, February 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Kirk Meche)

The regional round of the boys basketball playoffs concludes today, with the area's pair of private schools looking to take their first steps back to the state tournament.

Additionally, Grand Lake, the area's highest-seeded public school, hits the hardwood after receiving a first round bye.

St. Louis and Hamilton Christian each earned byes on the select side. The No. 5 Saints (21-4) will host No. 12 Teurlings Catholic (13-18) in Division II at 7 p.m. while No. 2 Hamilton Christian (24-7) will host No. 15 St. John-Plaquemine (13-19) at 6:30 p.m.

St. Louis head coach Rick Lebato said the Rebels are better than their record indicates.

"I know the league they are in, with Carencro, St. Thomas More, Northside, they had to play some good people," Lebato said. "It is a tough first round opponent.

"They play structured and play a lot of guys. They run a lot of different sets and are balanced inside and outside."

Lebato said balance has been a strength for his team this season.

"We have had some guys who can do things inside and that has made us much more balanced that in the past few years," he said. "We have been able to play Karlin Hardy, Nic Ughovwa and Colson Snider, those guys give us the best balance we have had in years.

"We'll have to try to not get outrebounded too bad and cut down on our turnovers. If we get better at those things each week, I think we have a chance to compete."

Hamilton Christian will be looking for its fourth straight trip to the state tournament after finishing as runner-up last season.

Grand Lake (29-1) will host No. 18 Block, which beat No. 15 Centerville by 20 points in a road win last week. The Hornets have won nine straight since suffering its only loss of the season to New Iberia Jan. 25.

A total of 14 area teams will be in action tonight, including a local showdown with Hathaway hosting Bell City in a meeting of District 7-B rivals.

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