New playoff brackets short-change ‘Selects’


What if the LHSAA held a Division I basketball playoff and just two teams showed up? If your retort is “Huh?” let me explain.
 
You will see separate playoff brackets for public and non-public schools for the first time at the end of the winter and spring sports seasons. This was approved in January and reaffirmed in June at separate meetings.
 
A majority of the LHSAA membership approved two sets of playoffs for the sports of boys’ and girls’ basketball, baseball and softball
 
The rule’s author and perpetrator is Many High principal Norman Booker, and the co-conspirators are most of his public school peers.
 
Good for Booker. He got his way with the LHSAA front office by mustering enough votes to add the four additional sports to the already-split football playoffs.
 
Four of seven classes, to which the LHSAA’s 273 public schools belong, will be able to fill 32-team playoff brackets in these sports, including several teams that will have losing records.
 
The 96 Catholic, parochial, private and charter schools, which are members of the minority, are designated as “Select” schools and will be placed in five divisions.
 
None of these unfortunate 96 schools have the numbers to fill any playoff bracket. Some will draw byes through two playoff rounds before they even step on the court. And there will be some teams with losing records as well.

A boycott in order?
But the Selects, particularly the few in Division I, should not accept Booker’s punishment. And they may not.

The eight Catholic and two private schools could make a statement heard around the state at the end of the regular basketball season by holding their own post-season tournament over a three- or four-day period and divvying up the revenue among themselves.

The 10-team bracket would include Archbishops Rummel and Shaw, Brother Martin, Catholic-Baton Rouge, John Curtis, Evangel, Holy Cross, Jesuit, St. Augustine and St. Paul’s.

That would leave the LHSAA with Byrd High in Shreveport and Scotlandville to fill its “32-team” bracket. The winner would take home the big trophy; the loser would get the silver.

The girls’ teams in Division I number eight. A six-team bracket would enable just two byes: the two teams with the best records.

Archbishop Chapelle, John Curtis, Dominican, Evangel, Mount Carmel and St. Joseph Academy are the Catholic schools affected.

Both tournaments could be held as a joint venture, all sharing the expenses and gate receipts.

Unfair and unbalanced
I’m sure that much time and a great deal of thought went into distributing 96 non-public schools into five divisions, while the public schools enjoy the prospects of winning a “state” championship in one of seven classes.

Does a breakaway tournament sound far-fetched? It shouldn’t. There have been some out-of-the box discussions among principals and athletic directors about not participating in an unfair tournament as a statement of discontent because they have no other recourse.

Sure, the LHSAA could punish these schools through fines, but that would only serve to move the non-public schools closer to forming their own association.

Brackets for the basketball playoffs have been stocked in the following manner:

DIVISION I BOYS (12 teams) – Archbishop Rummel, Archbishop Shaw, Brother Martin, Byrd, Catholic-Baton Rouge, John Curtis, Evangel, Holy Cross, Jesuit, Scotlandville, St. Augustine and St. Paul’s.

DIVISION I GIRLS (8 teams) – Archbishop Chapelle, Byrd, John Curtis, Dominican, Evangel, Mount Carmel, Scotlandville and St. Joseph’s Academy.

DIVISION II BOYS (14) – De La Salle, Ben Franklin, International High School of New Orleans, Loyola Prep, Lusher Charter, New Orleans Military and Maritime, Parkview Baptist, St. Louis, St. Michael, St. Thomas More, Teurlings Catholic, University Lab, Vandebilt Catholic and E.D. White.

DIVISION II GIRLS (19) – Academy of the Sacred Heart, Academy of Our Lady, Cabrini, De La Salle, Ben Franklin, International High School of New Orleans, Loyola Prep, Lusher Charter, New Orleans Military and Maritime, St. Katharine Drexel, St. Louis, St. Michael, St. Scholastica, St. Thomas More, Teurlings Catholic, University Lab, Ursuline Academy and Vandebilt Catholic.

DIVISION III BOYS (25) – Archbishop Hannan, Calvary Baptist, Catholic-New Iberia, Christian Life, Country Day, Dunham, Episcopal, Haynes Academy, Thomas Jefferson, Lee Magnet, Madison Prep, Menard, Mentorship Academy, Newman, Northlake Christian, Notre Dame, Opelousas Catholic, Ouachita Christian, Pope John Paul II, Riverside Academy, Runnels, Sacred Heart-V.P., St. Charles, St. Thomas Aquinas and David Thibodaux.

DIVISION III GIRLS (27) – Academy of the Sacred Heart-G.C., Archbishop Hannan, Calvary Baptist, Catholic-New Iberia, Christian Life, Country Day, Dunham, Episcopal, Haynes Academy, Thomas Jefferson, Lee Magnet, Madison Prep, McGehee, Menard, Mentorship Academy, Northlake Christian, Notre Dame, Opelousas Catholic, Ouachita Christian, Pope John Paul II, Riverside Academy, Runnels, Sacred Heart-V.P., St. Charles, St. Mary’s Academy, St. Thomas Aquinas and David Thibodaux.

DIVISION IV BOYS (29) – Ascension Catholic, Ascension Christian, Ascension Episcopal, Beekman Charter, Catholic-P.C., Cedar Creek, Central Catholic, Covenant Christian, Crescent City, D’Arbonne Woods, Delhi Charter, Delta Charter, École Classique, False River, Grambling, Hamilton Christian, Hanson, Highland Baptist, Houma Christian, Lafayette Christian, Lake Charles Prep, Ridgewood, Southern Lab, St. Edmund, St. Frederick, St. John, St. Martin’s, St. Mary-Natchitoches, Vermilion Catholic and Westminster.

DIVISION IV GIRLS (28) – Ascension Catholic, Ascension Christian, Ascension Episcopal, Beekman Charter, Catholic-P.C., Cedar Creek, Central Catholic, Covenant Christian, Crescent City, D’Arbonne Woods, Delhi Charter, Delta Charter, False River, Grambling, Hamilton Christian, Hanson, Highland Baptist, Houma Christian, Lafayette Christian, Lake Charles Prep, Southern Lab, St. Edmund, St. Frederick, St. John. St. Martin’s. St. Mary-Natchitoches, Vermilion Catholic, Westminster.

DIVISION V BOYS (18) – Avoyelles Charter, Bishop McManus, Claiborne Christian, Downsville, Episcopal of Acadiana, Family Christian, Family Community, First Baptist, Grace Christian, Jehovah Jireh, Louisiana School for the Deaf, Lutheran, M.L. King, New Living Word, Northside Christian, Patrick Taylor, St. Joseph-Plaucheville and Vision Academy.

DIVISION V GIRLS (12) – Avoyelles Charter, Claiborne Christian, Downsville, Family Community, First Baptist, Grace Christian, Louisiana School for the Deaf, Lutheran, M.L. King, New Living Word, St. Joseph-Plauche­- ville, Vision Academy.

Division I is comparable to Class 5A, Division II is a combination of schools in classes 4A and 3A, Division III is the equivalent of Class 2A, Division IV is comparable to Class 1A and Division V includes schools in classes B and C.

On the other hand, there are 51 non-select (public) schools with basketball teams in classes 5A and 4A, 52 in 3A, 40 in 2A, 28 in 1A and 26 and 25 schools in classes B and C, respectively. The top four classes will be able to fill 32-team brackets.

Ron Brocato can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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