MARSH MADNESS: Rayville seeks to regain crown

Rodrick Anderson

Top-ranked Rayville looks to move a step closer to regaining the throne in Class 2A at the boys state basketball tournament today at Burton Coliseum.

No. 1 Rayville (23-2) will face No. 5 Franklin (27-4) at noon in the Class 2A quarterfinals.

The Hornets won back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019 before losing to Port Allen by four points in last season’s final.

Rayville returns a pair of all-state players in senior forward Kashie Natt (18 points per game, 14 rebounds per game) and guard Zyquarius Cowart (17 ppg, 7 rpg).

Franklin looks to end the Hornets’ 19-game win streak after losing in the quarterfinals last season.

Franklin has won 13 of its last 14 games and last reached the final in 1960. The Hornets are led by guards Travis Zeno (21.1 ppg) and J’Michael Grey (19.1 ppg)

No. 2 and defending state champion Port Allen (16-7) will face No. 6 Lakeview (21-6) at 2:30 p.m.

The Pelicans have a veteran team led by seniors Elliott McQuillan (18 ppg) and Tawasky Johnson (15 ppg) and junior Jordan Brooks (15 ppg).

Lakeview returns to the semifinals for the first time since losing to Port Allen in 2019.

The day will close out with a pair of Class 5A semifinals. No. 1 Natchitoches Central (22-1) plays No. 4 Hahnville (21-3) at 5 p.m., and No. 3 Zachary (24-6) takes on No. 15 Walker (20-9) at 7:30 p.m.

Walker beat defending state champ No. 7 Alexandria in the quarterfinals.

Natchitoches Central is after its first state championship since 2016.

The game will pit the Chiefs’ big men in 6-foot-5 seniors Darius Young (21 ppg, 12 rpg) and Jaiden Hare (6 ppg, 10 rpg) against the Tigers’ all-state backcourt of Claudell Harris Jr. (20.1 ppg) and Kaden Pierre (15.1 ppg).high school boys basketball

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