Catholic League roundball rather ho-hum this year
If De La Salle were still a member of the Catholic League, it could win the 2015-16 District 9-5A basket- ball championship, its first in three decades.
If St. Paul’s were a member of the Catholic League, it would definitely take the title home to its brand new gymnasium in Covington.
But De La Salle will prevail in its Class 3A district, and St. Paul’s should do the same in its Northshore league.
And in the meantime, St. Augustine should win the title in an otherwise mediocre District 9-5A.
This is a rather unusual year for Catholic League roundball, but it should make for stiff competition in the face of mediocrity.
Here are the gures to justify the facts:
In the last power rankings posted by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, St. Augustine ranks the highest at No. 20. Archbishop Rummel sits at No. 26 and Brother Martin at No. 27.
St. Aug is doing well enough, entering the week with a 12-6 record. But the others – Rummel (10-9), Brother Martin (9-8), Holy Cross (9-10), Curtis (6-8), Shaw (6-11) and Jesuit (5-12) – are average at best.
If the season were to end with St. Aug, Rummel and Martin remaining in those or similar positions, they would be the only teams in 9-5A to qualify for the Class 5A playoffs. But none would host a first-round game.
John Curtis, at No. 33; Jesuit, at No. 37; Holy Cross, at No. 51 and Archbishop Shaw, at No. 59, would put away their uniforms.
There are 63 schools playing basketball in the state’s highest class. The top 32, based on their power rankings, gain playoff berths. The top 16 from that group host bi-district round games.
Two that glitter
St. Paul’s and De La Salle have carved their niches early.
Coach Phil Williams’ Wolves started the week in a three-way tie with Slidell and Mandeville for the District 6-5A lead, but they are far ahead of their public school counterparts in record and power ranking.
Since losing its season-opener to Parkview Baptist, 52-48, St. Paul’s has won 18 consecutive games as of Jan. 12, which includes the CYO tournament title with an 81-79 victory over De La Salle. The Wolves have won two more tournaments since and sit at No. 5 in the early seeding.
Two classifications down, coach Paul Kelly’s De La Salle squad has a 17-4 record, with two losses to St. Paul’s, one to St. Augustine (61-55) and a fourth to 14-4 Catholic High.
But the No. 10 seed Cavaliers have beaten Brother Martin, John Curtis and Jesuit (twice). Unfortunately, Class 3A has two outstanding teams in undefeated Peabody and once-beaten University High.
De La Salle’s district (10- 3A) is a mixed bag. Joining the Cavs as contenders are Lutcher with a 15-4 record, and Lusher Charter, at 13-5. Also competing are St. James (4-12) and McMain (1-15).
De La Salle will be the visiting team for all four first-round district games, beginning at Lusher on Jan. 19, and will host the four second-round games.
Eight in Sugar tourney
The boys’ bracket in the 6th annual Allstate Sugar Bowl (National) Prep Classic was completely void of local Catholic schools.
Creative scheduling enabled host Riverside Academy to win for the third time in four years.
However, the girls’ “platinum” and “gold” brackets were stocked with eight schools from the archdiocese, including Mount Carmel, which rallied from behind to defeat the reigning Class 4A champion Warren Easton, 46-37, on Jan. 9.
The victory put the Cubs’ record at 16-5 as they head into what has been a routine jaunt against Dominican and Archbishop Chapelle.
But the addition of John Curtis as a fourth member of District 9-5A will be a test for the Cubs, who sit at No. 10 in the early power rankings.
The Lady Patriots enter with a 3-8 record and a No. 12 seed.
Dominican (12-8) has a No. 22 power ranking , while Chapelle (13-11) needs to mount a charge to get out of the No. 36 spot.
Quite impressive is the work head coach Andrea Williams has done at Ursuline. The Lions are roaring again after having won 16 of their first 20 games.
Until their emergence, Cabrini was the team to beat. With the No. 11 rating entering District 9-4A, Cabrini has a 12-7 record.
The two will meet at Cabrini on Jan. 19 and again on Feb. 3 at Ursuline.