When the Coronavirus first became an issue in the state roughly a year ago the LHSAA diligently fell in step behind Governor Jon Bel Edwards to follow the mandates he issued. Recently Edwards issued a statement declaring that the state would remain in the “Modified” Phase 2 Recovery Plan. It is only natural then that the LHSAA would have a “modified” bracket for the girls playoffs, which along with prep boys postseason, is affectionately called “Marsh Madness.”
In Classes 2A-5A, the brackets stayed the same as in the past with 32 teams vying for the state championship. In Class A & B the bracket contains 24 teams this year, while Class C and Divisions II and IV has only 16 teams in it and Division III has 14 teams. Division I has an eight team bracket and Division V has only six competitors vying for the crown meaning only one game has to be won to make it to state.
For Jonesboro-Hodge and Weston the journey is a daunting one that requires the traversing of a major road block to get to the state tourney. The #8 seeded, Lady Tigers open with a home game this Saturday at 3:00pm against #25 Pine before hopefully hosting another home game against the winner of #9 Rayville and #24 Kentwood in the regional round. A victory there then takes them to #1 seed Doyle for the right to play in the final four. Weston, who was given the #15 seed, also will host a first round contest this Saturday against #18 Pitkin. Game time is set for 4:00pm. To advance past the regional’s the Lady Wolves will then have to take down #2 Fairview, who for most of the year was the top ranked team in Class B, on the road. An upset there will most likely pit them against #7 Midland for the right to play in Hammond.
Conversely Quitman, who compiled one of the best regular season winning percentages in school history, has earned what could be considered a “dream trip” through the playoffs. Actually they most likely won’t have to hit the road at all except for games at the state tournament. By virtue of their #4 seed in the Class B bracket the Lady Wolverines received a first round bye and will host either #13 Bell City or #20 Negreet in the regional round. If the seedings hold true Quitman would then host #5 seed Anacoco, with the winner having their name put on the banner that will hang in the rafters of University Center, designating them as one of four that will compete for the Class B crown.
In other first round area playoff matchups, #9 Ruston will host #24 Sulphur while #28 West Ouachita will venture to #5 Mandeville in Class 5A. Winnfield, seeded #28 in Class 2A will travel to #5 Avoyelles Public Charter and in Class A, #12 Lincoln Prep will host #21 Centerville with #20 Arcadia traveling to #13 Plain Dealing in matchup of district 1-1A foes. Twelfth-seeded Choudrant will host #21 Monterey and #17 Simsboro will make the short trip to #16 Castor in Class B while #13 Calvin will travel to #4 Reeves in Class C. Division IV representative, Cedar Creek, who earned the highest seed of any area teams at #3, will host #14 Vermillion Catholic.
Dates and times of first round girls playoff games
|JHHS vs Pine||Saturday, February 20||3:00pm|
|Weston vs Pitkin||Saturday, February 20||4:00pm|
|Ruston vs Sulphur||Saturday, February 20||3:00pm|
|West Ouachita at Mandeville||Saturday, February 20||2:00pm|
|Winnfield at Avoyelles||Friday, February 19||5:30pm|
|Arcadia at Plain Dealing||Saturday, February 20||4:00pm|
|Lincoln Prep vs Centerville||TBA||TBA|
|Choudrant vs Monterey||Thursday, February 18||6:30pm|
|Simsboro at Castor||Saturday, February 20||2:00pm|
|Calvin at Reeves||TBA||TBA|
|Cedar Creek vs Vermillion Catholic||Monday, February 22||6:00pm|