Mar 2, 2012
Louisiana Coaches Baffled By New Semifinal System

The Town Talk, Jerit Roser

http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20120301/SPORTS/203010336/La-s-new-semifinal-system-perplexes-coaches?odyssey=nav|head

Peabody Magnet High boys basketball coach Charles Smith woke up Wednesday morning ready to face Neville High this weekend in Lake Charles.

That changed when he checked the Louisiana High School Athletic Association website and saw his No. 1 Warhorse instead would travel to the University of Louisiana at Monroe — four miles from No. 12 Neville’s campus.

“I am totally confused, Smith said. I was told my region would be going to Lake Charles as the higher seed, and I don’t understand what happened. Now we’ve got to go play Neville in Monroe in their home town. I’m just totally confused … I’m at awe’s end.

“I was originally told we could be sent to any one of the three sites, Smith said. They told me they could send us to Hammond — Hammond, Louisiana, and I’m in Alexandria? Then we were told possibly Monroe. I don’t know. It’s totally confusing.”

Smith wasn’t the only person upset with the uncertainty of the new high school basketball state semifinals system, which separates its 14 boys and 14 girls games between Hammond, Lake Charles and Monroe — not that all reaction was negative.

Feelings were mixed on the setup, overall, and athletic association Executive Director Kenny Henderson was primarily pleased with the breakdown.

“I think it looked pretty good, he said. If you take just the Monroe bracket, there are some really good games, and people will not have to travel very far because out of 11 games, there are six of those 22 schools I would categorize as north Louisiana schools, so that should help the crowds too.”

Scott Bruscato, Monroe West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau director of convention and sports marketing, thought the athletic association did a good job of preparing the host committess for what to expect and keeping them updated.

But the Neville-Peabody decision still came as somewhat of a surprise.

“I really just waited on Rhonda McCullough, the assistant executive commissioner, Bruscato said. She sent me an email telling me what teams were coming to Monroe. The Peabody thing, I didn’t know for sure. There was a lot of people speculating on where they might go.

“I’d heard originally they might go to Lake Charles, then I heard they might not. At the end of the day I just think it makes more sense for them to come here and Natchitoches Central to go to Lake Charles.”

The 11 contests scheduled Thursday through Saturday at UL-Monroe’s Fant-Ewing Coliseum mark the most of any site. The Lake Charles Civic Center and Southeastern Louisiana’s University Center will host eight and nine matchups, respectively.

The state athletic association used the Alexandria area as a “swing city, from which schools could be sent to any of the sites as a way to even the load.

If the current system had been in place in the past, Lake Charles would have hosted the fewest total games each of the past four seasons — without the addition of teams that could’ve possibly been sent to any one of two or three different sites.

For the Neville-Peabody matchup, total travel involved from both sides was a factor.

Peabody’s a little less than two hours to Monroe, right about two hours to Lake Charles and a little over two hours to Hammond, Henderson said. It didn’t make sense with Neville and Peabody to send them to Lake Charles.”

Other higher seeds who could’ve been potential tossups — Class B No. 1 Zwolle boys, Class 5A No. 7 Natchitoches Central boys and Class B No. 2 Fairview girls — will play in Lake Charles.

Zwolle will face No. 5 Fairview, Natchitoches Central will play No. 14 McKinley and Fairview’s girls will meet No. 3 Anacoco.

The athletic association hoped to keep each site between eight and 11 games, which is why the No. 4 White Castle boys will face No. 17 Louisiana New Tech in Lake Charles.

“We didn’t want to have any sites with any fewer games than that, Henderson said. White Castle was a No. 4 seed really where by the time they come through Baton Rouge to go to Hammond it would almost be as long as going to Lake Charles, and Lake Charles is also closer to Plain Dealing.”

Coaches Baffled By New Semifinal System

The Town Talk, Jerit Roser

http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20120301/SPORTS/203010336/La-s-new-semifinal-system-perplexes-coaches?odyssey=nav|head

Peabody Magnet High boys basketball coach Charles Smith woke up Wednesday morning ready to face Neville High this weekend in Lake Charles.

That changed when he checked the Louisiana High School Athletic Association website and saw his No. 1 Warhorse instead would travel to the University of Louisiana at Monroe — four miles from No. 12 Neville’s campus.

“I am totally confused, Smith said. I was told my region would be going to Lake Charles as the higher seed, and I don’t understand what happened. Now we’ve got to go play Neville in Monroe in their home town. I’m just totally confused … I’m at awe’s end.

“I was originally told we could be sent to any one of the three sites, Smith said. They told me they could send us to Hammond — Hammond, Louisiana, and I’m in Alexandria? Then we were told possibly Monroe. I don’t know. It’s totally confusing.”

Smith wasn’t the only person upset with the uncertainty of the new high school basketball state semifinals system, which separates its 14 boys and 14 girls games between Hammond, Lake Charles and Monroe — not that all reaction was negative.

Feelings were mixed on the setup, overall, and athletic association Executive Director Kenny Henderson was primarily pleased with the breakdown.

“I think it looked pretty good, he said. If you take just the Monroe bracket, there are some really good games, and people will not have to travel very far because out of 11 games, there are six of those 22 schools I would categorize as north Louisiana schools, so that should help the crowds too.”

Scott Bruscato, Monroe West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau director of convention and sports marketing, thought the athletic association did a good job of preparing the host committess for what to expect and keeping them updated.

But the Neville-Peabody decision still came as somewhat of a surprise.

“I really just waited on Rhonda McCullough, the assistant executive commissioner, Bruscato said. She sent me an email telling me what teams were coming to Monroe. The Peabody thing, I didn’t know for sure. There was a lot of people speculating on where they might go.

“I’d heard originally they might go to Lake Charles, then I heard they might not. At the end of the day I just think it makes more sense for them to come here and Natchitoches Central to go to Lake Charles.”

The 11 contests scheduled Thursday through Saturday at UL-Monroe’s Fant-Ewing Coliseum mark the most of any site. The Lake Charles Civic Center and Southeastern Louisiana’s University Center will host eight and nine matchups, respectively.

The state athletic association used the Alexandria area as a “swing city, from which schools could be sent to any of the sites as a way to even the load.

If the current system had been in place in the past, Lake Charles would have hosted the fewest total games each of the past four seasons — without the addition of teams that could’ve possibly been sent to any one of two or three different sites.

For the Neville-Peabody matchup, total travel involved from both sides was a factor.

Peabody’s a little less than two hours to Monroe, right about two hours to Lake Charles and a little over two hours to Hammond, Henderson said. It didn’t make sense with Neville and Peabody to send them to Lake Charles.”

Other higher seeds who could’ve been potential tossups — Class B No. 1 Zwolle boys, Class 5A No. 7 Natchitoches Central boys and Class B No. 2 Fairview girls — will play in Lake Charles.

Zwolle will face No. 5 Fairview, Natchitoches Central will play No. 14 McKinley and Fairview’s girls will meet No. 3 Anacoco.

The athletic association hoped to keep each site between eight and 11 games, which is why the No. 4 White Castle boys will face No. 17 Louisiana New Tech in Lake Charles.

“We didn’t want to have any sites with any fewer games than that, Henderson said. White Castle was a No. 4 seed really where by the time they come through Baton Rouge to go to Hammond it would almost be as long as going to Lake Charles, and Lake Charles is also closer to Plain Dealing.”






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