The Patterson High School Lumberjacks will hit the road tonight to take on Parkview Baptist in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.
Patterson (17-6), the No. 7 seed, enters the game following a 61-49 victory against Green Oaks Tuesday, while Parkview (15-12), the No. 23 seed, traveled to southwest Louisiana where it upset No. 10 seed Westlake, 50-39.
Parkview was led in the game by a dominant performance by 6-foot, 8-inch center James Thompson, who recorded a triple-double with 15 points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocks.
“He’s pretty athletic, plays hard,” Taylor said. “He scores a lot for them in the paint, does a lot of good things both offensively and defensively.”
Despite his impressive performance, Thompson wasn’t even the team’s leading scorer in the first-round victory. That honor belonged to guard Reed Vial, who had 17 points.
Taylor said Parkview has a good point guard.
“He’s pretty big because he’ll go down and post up occasionally, depending on matchups,” he said.
He also noted that Parkview has another good shooter.
“They play solid basketball … It’s going to be a challenge,” the ’Jacks’ coach said.
In Patterson’s first-round win the squad jumped out to a 7-0 advantage, but it wasn’t without nerves playing a part early and not just from the freshmen on the team.
“You could tell at the beginning of the game we were a little nervous, a little jittery, not just the freshmen,” Taylor said. “I think if I’m not mistaken, three out of the first five shots we took were air balls. We did a good job of playing through it, getting comfortable in the situation. I thought as the game progressed they did well.”
However, Taylor noted he saw a lot of improvement could be made from that first-round game.
“I like what I saw,” he said. “We made some questionable decisions at the end but they’re trying to make plays … We’ll make some adjustments and we’ll learn from them. We’ll go from there.”
Patterson freshman starter Nehemiah Augustus said he was nervous initially during Tuesday’s game.
“But when I started realizing it was a regular game, I started getting into it and playing like I usually play,” he said.
Along with tougher competition in round 2, the ’Jacks also will be playing in unfamiliar surroundings.
“It’s always a challenge when you go on the road but it’s a definite challenge when you’re dealing with a young team. We’re going to discuss it,” Taylor said Wednesday. “We’re going to talk about it and we’re going to go out there and play. I really believe that we got a good group who understands the importance of being mentally prepared to play.”
Taylor, an assistant coach on the Patterson Lumberjacks’ football team, said the big-game atmosphere the squad played in when as a No. 31 seed, they gave No. 2 seed Notre Dame quite a game, can help his squad because like basketball, those same freshmen played in that game.
Another experience they can look to is earlier in the season when the squad faced St. Thomas More, who is the No. 2 seed in Class 4A, at the Metairie Park Country Day Tournament.
“We’re going to have to draw on those experiences and try to get into our comfort zone as fast as possible,” he said.
Today’s game will begin at 7 p.m.