Three Point Shot: Time to make up ground in home stretch
In this edition of the Three Point Shot, staff writers Rodrick Anderson and Warren Arceneaux discuss the final two weeks of the girls basketball regular season and look ahead to the baseball and softball seasons.
Which girls team needs a strong finish to improve its playoff stock?
RA: Early in the season, Westlake was consistently ranked in the top 10, but after losing four of its last six games, the Rams are down to 18 in the Class 3A power ratings. Westlake suffered a tough-luck six-point loss to South Beauregard on Tuesday but still has a chance at a first-round home playoff game with four games left. The Rams are a point behind the No. 16 team, Crowley.
WA: Lacassine. The Cardinals can win District 7-B with a home win over Hathaway on Friday night, and more importantly, could move into the top four of the state power ratings, which would allow them to play at home in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs as they seek a return to the state championship tournament.
After the coronavirus pandemic wrecked the 2020 season, which big school softball team looks poised for a big 2021?
RA: Sulphur was rolling before the pandemic with a spotless 4-0 record District 3-5A and 11-4 overall and could do more of the same this year. The Tors return several big hitters in catcher Abi Massey (8 HR, 25 RBIs), shortstop Bailey Chaisson (3 HR, 21 RBIs) plus a three-year starter in the circle in Sophia Tanner.
WA: Barbe almost won the Class 5A championship in 2019 with a young roster, finishing as state runner-up. Many of those players will be upperclassmen, including Arkansas commitment Nyjah Fontenot and pitcher/power hitter Halie Pappion, so the Bucs could be poised for another long playoff run.
Name a big school baseball team to watch.
RA: Sam Houston is loaded once again after three consecutive trips to the state tournament from 2017-19 after ending the 2020 season 9-5. The Broncos have several players committed to Division I programs, including Jordan Thompson (Nicholls State), Dylan Thompson (Texas A&M), Luke Yuhasz (Texas A&M) and Andrew Glass (Tulane).
WA: Barbe enters the season with tremendous pitching depth, led by Mississippi State signee Jack Walker and Louisiana-Lafayette signee Adam Guth. Infielders Kyle DeBarge (ULL) and LSU commitment Gavin Guidry lead the position players as the Bucs seek their 11th state championship.