Peabody plays today, Northwood Saturday in state boys’ basketball tournament; Rapides bows in semis

Coach Charles Smith sends another Peabody boys’ basketball team into the semifinals of the LHSAA state tournament today, while the Northwood (Lena) Gators prepare for a state championship contest Saturday at high noon  in Lake Charles. A tough shooting day stopped Rapides in a semifinal loss Monday.

The Warhorses (25-6) are seeded No. 2 in Division II Select and will line up against No. 6 G.W. Carver (22-10) at 4:45 in Burton Coliseum on the south edge of Lake Charles. At stake is a berth in the state final Saturday at 2 against either top-seeded Madison Prep (31-2) or Archbishop Shaw (22-5), who play in the game just before Peabody takes the court today.

All games are being live-streamed on the site on a pay-per-view or subscription basis.

Top-seeded Northwood (28-7) dominated the fourth quarter to break open a tight semifinal contest Wednesday afternoon with St. Martin’s (21-10) of Metairie. After finishing their 62-47 triumph, the Gators moved on to Saturday’s noon Division IV Select championship contest. They will square off with the winner of today’s semifinal between No. 2 Lincoln Prep (23-4) and No. 3 Crescent City (22-4).

Coach Samuel Tinsley’s Gators have been soaring all season long, but struggled to pull away from a scrappy St. Martin’s team. Northwood led by as many as eight in the first half but settled for a five-point edge at halftime, and fought off a couple of third-quarter rallies.

St. Martin’s made its biggest push to open the final period, scoring the first four points to draw within 38-37. But Northwood responded in championship style, scoring six straight to launch a 12-2 run that opened a comfortable 50-39 advantage with two minutes to go.

Omarion Layssard’s 21 points, right on his season’s average, included a 9-for-10 performance at the free throw line. Randarius Morris scored 18 as he sank 6-of-9 shots from the floor, but he made an even bigger impact with 17 rebounds, 11 on the offensive glass.  Jeigh Lee added 12 points for the Gators.

Monday, Rapides fell 46-38 to Family Christian in the Division V Select semifinals. Family Christian pushed away from a 24-all halftime tie, taking a 13-9 edge in the third quarter and outscoring the Mustangs 9-5 in the final period.

Family Christian hit half of its shots (19-38) while Rapides sank only 32 percent (16-49), including 4 of 20 on 3-pointers. FCHS also outrebounded Rapides 28-15.

Ali Wahid led the Mustangs with 10 points, missing only one of his six shots. Junior guard Zakelveon Gadison added eight points and an impressive seven assists, while Christopher Newton scored seven.

Coach Travis Broussard’s Rapides team finished with a 23-13 record while Family Christian enters Friday’s state championship game at 25-14.