District play begins for area preps

There was a time not too many years ago that a high school basketball coach would tell you that the season didn’t really start until district play began. That was because playoff seedings were solely determined on how a team fared in district play. 

That is not the case anymore. Since the inception of “Power Rankings” in LHSAA athletics which is how the playoff seedings are determined the games played before district play begins often times mean more to postseason fortunes than the chase for a district title. 

Regardless of how important it is, there is one thing that will never change and that is the memory of winning a district championship. There is no better feeling for a high school player than to have that patch on the letter jacket declaring his team won the district title or even when you get old to be able to look back and say you were a district champion. 

All three Jackson Parish schools (JHHS, QHS, WHS) begin district play this Tuesday hoping the “second season” as it is fondly called brings added fortunes to the year. Jackson Parish Journal coverage area teams, Saline and Dodson, got a head start in the title race by squaring off against each other this past Friday. (see results in game recaps)  

Here is a look at the Tuesday matchups

Weston High School will be the only local team playing at home with both the boys and girls looking to continue their success since the calendar turned to 2022. The boys team, which enters the contest with an 11-13 overall record and a 5-2 mark in January, has the most daunting task ahead of them as they host the top team in Class B in Simsboro, who sports a 20-2 record. 

It looks to be easier sledding for the Weston girls, who have posted a 15-8 pre-district record and winners of their last two. Simsboro enters the contest as the only 2B team with a losing record (7-14) and has struggled since coming back from the Christmas Holiday break. Looks can be deceiving though. Since December 28th, the Lady Tigers are 0-5 but each of their losses have been to teams from higher classifications.

Jonesboro-Hodge enters district 1-2A play as favorite to wins both the boys and girls divisions. After beginning the season by winning six of their first seven games the boys have split their last six, including an impressive OT win over arch-rival Winnfield this past weekend to stop a two-game skid where they lost to two of the top teams in north Louisiana in Neville and Simsboro. Their second season opener should be no problem in 0-16 Lakeside. 

The fortune of the girls team is one of the best stories of the year. Before the calendar turned to 2022 the Lady Tigers were without a coach and saddled with a hopeless 2-10 mark. Kris Cash stepped in at the first of the year and JH hasn’t lost since with three impressive victories. Included is the latest which improved the record to a deceiving 5-11 on the year and dropped Winnfield to only their second loss of the year. Senior standout, Xabrianna Jackson , has been leading the way on the floor by averaging over 30 points a game in the last three and hopes to continue the scoring outburst. Lakeside (2-12) is coming off a win over North Webster which stopped a season worst eight game skid.

Quitman High makes the short trip to Choudrant for a pair of boys and girls contests. This could be the most entertainable matchup on the calendar. Both schools have eclipsed the 15-win mark in girls play, while the two boys teams have 14 wins each. Two of those wins for Choudrant are the only two losses this year that Class C #1 ranked Calvin has suffered. 

The Lady Wolverines seem to be peaking at the right time as they have won 8 of their last ten via two separate four game winnings streaks, one of which Quitman is still on. Choudrant, is a very formidable foe especially at home where the Lady Aggies are undefeated on the year. 

Games on Tuesday:

JHHS at Lakeside District 1-2A 6:00pm
Quitman at Choudrant District 2B 6:00pm
Weston vs Simsboro District 2B 6:00pm
Saline at Doyline District 1B 6:00pm
Dodson vs Castor District 1B 6:00[,

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