MORGAN CITY — As they enter the quarterfinals, the Central Catholic Lady Eagles are facing nearly the same situation as a year ago.
The Lady Eagles, the No. 4 seed, enter the contest as the higher seed against No. 5 Tensas, while the Lady Eagles will again play at home a year after the top-ranked squad faced eighth-ranked West St. John.
Unlike last year, though, the Lady Eagles (23-7) hope they do not conclude the quarterfinal matchup with the same result when they fell to West St. John, 69-62.
The Lady Eagles will get that chance with today’s 6 p.m. contest.
While it is that pesky quarterfinal round that has given the Lady Eagles trouble, Central Catholic coach Jamarr Garrett said all his squad can do is think of this as just another game in the playoffs.
“I’m sure deep down inside they’re going to be thinking about last year, they gonna think about the way last year ended, but at the end of the day, it’s just another game,” he said.
A year ago, Tensas knocked off West St. John in the semifinals before falling to Louisiana New Tech at Plain Dealing in the finals.
Garrett said this year’s Tensas’ squad just likes to run and doesn’t run a whole lot of offense, explaining many of their points come on fast-break points.
“Everyone we’ve talked to, they say they run, so the way they run, I guess we can compare it to U-High, Ellender,” he said.
Central Catholic has wins against both University Lab and Ellender, while the squad also fell once to Ellender.
On defense, Garrett said the Lady Panthers (24-4 overall) like to employ a man-to-man, full-court press.
Garrett said getting past the press will be key.
“They score a lot of points. … It all comes from their pressure defense,” he said. “They’re full-court, man-to-man the whole time, and they’re going to (get) up in your face.”
Tensas has recorded victories against No. 28 Elton, 79-49, in the first round; and an 84-68 victory against No. 12 East Iberville, both at home.
Both teams’ losses have come to higher classification opponents.
Tensas’ four losses have been split, two apiece, among Class 4A Bastrop and Class 4A Franklin Parish.
The Lady Panthers also have won a game against Franklin Parish this year.
Tensas enters today’s contest on a 12-game winning streak. Their last loss was a 61-51 setback to Bastrop on Jan. 3.
The lone team the Lady Eagles and the Lady Panthers have in common is Tensas’ District 3-1A foe Delhi Charter.
Tensas swept them in district play with an 84-54 victory in the first round of district and later, a 58-45 win in the second round.
Central Catholic, which is riding a seven-game winning streak, defeated Delhi Charter, 65-32.
Tonight’s game could feature a large crowd, and not necessarily all from the Lady Eagles’ fans.
In the first-round contest when their boys’ squad faced Central Catholic Tuesday, Tensas brought two busloads of fans.
“And that was just for a first-round game for a 31 seed, so I can only imagine the amount they’ll bring for a quarterfinal game when their girls are one of the top five teams in the state,” Garrett said.
In Thursday’s regional round contest, Central Catholic used fast-break points to pull away from Mount Hermon in its 59-38 regional round victory.
Despite the sizable victory, the Lady Eagles struggled in its half-court offense as well as at the free throw line.
Randi Brown and Meo Knight both recorded double-doubles for Central Catholic.
Brown had 19 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block.
Knight had 15 points, 12 boards, two assists and five steals.
Megan Landry just missed double figures as she finished the contest with nine points.
Admission to tonight's game is $8.