The Bossier Bearkats and Louisiana New Tech at Plain Dealing Lions won first-round games in the LHSAA state playoffs Tuesday night.
The No. 1 seed Bearkats crushed No. 32 Port Barre 85-23 in a Class 3A game at Bossier.
The No. 16 seed Lions defeated No. 17 Hamilton Christian 49-35 at Plain Dealing.
Bossier (28-3) visits Rayville (14-13) in the second round Friday night. Rayville defeated No. 16 Madison 56-47 in the first round.
New Tech (12-10) travels to Baton Rouge to face No. 1 Christian Life (24-5) Friday. Christian Life routed No. 32 Ascension Catholic 70-34 Tuesday.
Bossier got off to a bit of a slow start against Port Barre.
The Bearkats shot the ball poorly in the first quarter but still led 13-6.
They turned it on in the second though, outscoring the Red Devils 27-4 en route to a 40-10 halftime lead.
The Bearkats broke the game open by forcing numerous turnovers both off the press and in their halfcourt defense.
The Bearkats were playing their first game in 10 days, and coach Jeremiah Williams said that contributed to the slow start.
“We eventually got going a little bit there and were able to make a run,” he said.
The game was actually tied at 6 midway through the first quarter. Bossier then went on a 34-4 run.
Once the Bearkats settled down, their shots started falling. Bossier made eight 3-pointers in the game.
Junior guard Devonte Hall led the Bearkats with 21 points.
Tevin Robertson, a 6-foot-4 senior center, scored 16. Robertson consistently got inside for layups against the smaller Red Devils.
Senior guard Breon Morris added 13 points.
Bossier has reached the state finals four straight years and Williams thinks his team is poised to make another deep run.
“I think we’re playing pretty good,” he said. “We’ve still got some work to do. Like I told the guys, we can always do better.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well early on but we did later on so that’s a good, positive sign.”
Port Barre finished its season 15-13.
At Plain Dealing, New Tech led 23-15 at the half. But the Lions scored only one point in the third quarter and fell behind 25-24.
New Tech then exploded for 25 points in the fourth quarter and won going away.
Deaumante Johnson scored 12 of his team-high 22 points in the quarter, and Cardarrious Ray scored six of his 13.
Last year, New Tech upset top-seeded Metairie Park-Country in overtime in the quarterfinals.
But that game was in Plain Dealing. Friday, they’ll have to do it on the road against Christian Life.