Five games on tap at state tournament

Two defending state champions will take the court at Burton Coliseum tonight when Class B champion Simsboro takes on Pitkin, and Class 3A champ Wossman faces the team it dethroned last year, Madison Prep.

The five-game schedule tips off at 1 p.m. with No. 2 Wossman, led by all-state forward Nick Traylor, takes on Madison Prep, which has won five state titles since 2013 and is led by Louisiana-Monroe signee Elijah Tate.

That will be followed by No. 1 Simsboro taking on No. 5 Pitkin, which will be making its second state tournament appearance in three years. Simsboro is led by returning all-state forward Jakemin Abney, while Pitkin has the reigning Class B state player of the year in Garrett Edwards, who averaged 33 points per game last season.

“Against Zwolle, we rebounded really well and took good care of the ball,” Pitkin head coach Jake Greene said. “Even though we didn’t shoot the 3 well, our defense kept us in the game.

“Simsboro does everything well. They are especially good in transition, rebounding and applying pressure defensively. We have to get back in transition, block out and take care of the ball.”

Others Games

In the other B semifinal, No. 2 Doyline and No. 6 JS Clark at 4:30 p.m.

Play concludes with the two Class 5A semifinals. The first features No. 6 Alexandria vs. No. 10 Hahnville at 6 p.m. followed by No. 9 Walker vs. No. 4 Bonnabel at 8 p.m. Walker is led by LSU signee Jalen Cook, who averaged 29.5 points per game last season. Walker won the 2018 title but lost to Thibodaux in the championship game last season.

Alexandria is led by guard Latrell Holly (18 ppg, 6 apg) while Hahnville features a pair of scorers in Caudell Harris and Kaden Pierre, who average 16 points per game each.

Bonnabel is led by the inside tandem of 6-foot-6 forward Kyshoun James and 6-8 center Will Allen.FILE: Pitkin’s Garrett Edwards (3) drives the baseline past the defense of Zwolle’s Jermaine Williams (1) during the LHSAA Marsh Madness Class B semi-final at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Wednesday, March 7, 2018.