It will be a few months before most of the state’s basketball teams reach a fever pitch about the season, maybe with some spirited district battles, for sure when the playoffs start to get close.
Livingston Parish teams get their annual jump-start on everybody else this week when the 2017 parish tournament revs up.
The parish’s 18 teams will be in action at Hornsby Gym starting Tuesday for a five-day event that always seems to stir up plenty of intensity to go with a high level of competitive basketball.
Holden’s girls and the Walker boys earned the No. 1 seeds in a vote of parish coaches and that’s not a surprise at all. Not only are the Lady Rockets and Wildcats the reigning tournament champions, both are regarded as serious contenders to reach their respective state tournaments in a few months.
The girls’ tournament features two teams who are unbeaten and five others with only one loss as of Nov. 28.
Class 3A state runnerup Albany landed the No. 2 seed and draws Live Oak at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Denham Springs High and Walker – two teams expected to vie for the District 4-5A top spot – round out the top four seeds, but will get tested by District 10-2A frontrunners Doyle and French Settlement.
Maurepas and Springfield round out the girls’ field and will collide in the first game of the event at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The winner moves on to face the Lady Rockets at 6 p.m. Thursday.
The boys’ tournament features three first-year coaches, although one of them is intimately familiar with the parish tournament after playing in it.
First-year French Settlement coach Chase Delrie is a former DSHS point guard during the Yellow Jackets’ five-year run of tournament crowns. His crew will face off against Maurepas in the first game of the boys tournament at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, with the winner advancing to take on Walker at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Springfield earned the No. 5 seed, which means first-year coach Blake Zito will get an early look at 10-2A rival Doyle in the first round at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Kenny Almond has coached longer than any of his peers on either side of the bracket, but this will be his first spin through the parish tournament. Almond’s Holden crew takes on No. 3 seed Live Oak at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Denham boys nailed down the No. 2 seed and a first-round meeting with Albany at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The tournament semifinals are set for Friday (3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) and the championship games will unfold at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
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2017 LIVINGSTON PARISH TOURNAMENT
At Hornsby Gym | Denham Springs High
Game 1: Maurepas vs. Springfield, 3 p.m.
Game 2: Walker vs. French Settlement, 6 p.m.
Game 3: Albany vs. Live Oak, 3 p.m.
Game 4: Doyle vs. DSHS, 6 p.m.
Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 3 p.m.
Game 6: Holden vs. Game 1 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 3 p.m.
Game 8: Game 6 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 9: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 9 a.m.
5th-place game, noon
3rd-place game, 3 p.m.
Championship game: 6 p.m.
Game 1: Maurepas vs. French Settlement, 4:30 p.m.
Game 2: Doyle vs. Springfield, 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Holden vs. Live Oak, 4:30 p.m.
Game 4: Albany vs. DSHS, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 4:30 p.m.
Game 6: Walker vs. Game 1 winner, 7:30 p.m.
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 4:30 p.m.
Game 8: Game 6 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 7:30 p.m.
Game 9: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 10:30 a.m.
5th-place game, 1:30 p.m.
3rd-place game, 4:30 p.m.
Championship game: 7:30 p.m.