Basketball: Green Devil Classic, Sunkist tourney among top post-Christmas tournaments starting Thursday
The week between Christmas and New Years brings many high school basketball tournaments across Louisiana. Two of the more well-known events start today as both Plaquemine High and St Thomas More in Lafayette will host their annual post-Christmas tournaments – the Green Devil Classic and for STM the 37th Edition of the Sunkist Shootout.
The 2019 Plaquemine Green Devil Classic runs through Saturday night with the championship game at 7.
The teams competing include David Thibodaux (2-10, a squad with big tournament experience this year after their appearance in the Newman Invitational Tournament. Helen Cox (13-2), the 2016 Champion and the 2017 runner-up, returns. McMain (6-4) also competed in the Newman Invitational losing in the semifinals to NIT champion Ponchatoula, 72-63. Donaldsonville (10-5) enter off a fine start the the season including a win over Class C power Jehovah-Jireh, 79-78. Other entrants include Amite (4-11), St James (0-9), West Feliciana (2-7) and the host Green Devils (10-4) who have already faced serious competition in the Catholic High Thanksgiving Tournament.
The bracket For the Green Devil Classic can be found by clicking here.
The 37th edition of the Sunkist Shootout started this morning in Lafayette with a 16-team bracket and eight games to open the event.
The field is well-balanced, and four teams arrive with just one or two losses, according to STM Head Coach and tournament organizer Danny Broussard.
“We have Wossman with one loss and two tourney wins in the field. Last year’s champion Sophie B. Wright returns and back for the third year in a row is Mississippi MAIS power Madison-Ridgeland Academy,” Broussard explained. “The New Orleans area has a few teams coming back with SBW including Brother Martin, Ellender and Lusher. It’s a deep and talented field”
The central Louisiana and Acadiana areas are represented by Comeaux, Mamou, Carencro, Jeanerette, Menard and LHSAA newcomer Southside along with the host Cougars. Southside is coached by Brad Boyd, who previously played for Broussard.
“This field is as good as I’ve seen in the 37 years of the Sunkist,” Broussard boasted.
Teurlings Catholic (6-4) versus Menard (10-2) opens the event. Menard’s two losses are to annual powers Peabody and Natchtoches Central. The second game pits Comeaux (8-4) against Sophie B. Wright (6-3). Comeaux has a 58-56 win over Dunham to their credit, and SBW won their own tournament earlier in the season.
Game three Thursday features Brother Martin (12-1) and Mamou (3-10). The Crusaders have a couple of wins over teams that might be in Lake Charles playing for state titles at season’s end – a 72-43 handling of McDonogh 35 and a 66-34 rout of Warren Easton.
Wossman (13-1) takes on Lusher (1-8) in game four. Wossman has won their own tournament and defeated Bossier, 67-61. The fifth game has Ellender (4-8) facing Calvary Baptist (6-4). Then a pair of powers in their states face off as Riverside (5-5) battles Madison-Ridgeland (13-1). Riverside has split a pair of close games with Class C power Jehovah-Jireh. MRA suffered their only loss this season against MHSAA power Gulfport High, 69-59, in the Gulfport Tournament.
The seventh game brings host St. Thomas More to the floor. The Cougars, who have been tested this year as they played in the Catholic High Thanksgiving Classic and the Sophie B. Wright Tournament, have a 4-4 record versus Louisiana schools. STM opens Sunkist play against Jeanerette (5-9).
Southside (7-7) plays Carencro (4-6) in the nightcap. Carencro has been tested in the Catholic tournament, losing to Plaquemine (41-31) and Scotlandville (68-22).
The Sunkist bracket can be found by clicking here.
In addition to the Sunkist in Acadiana 2 other tournaments being played are in St Martinville, and the Annual Boys and Girls Yuletide Classic at Vermilion Catholic in Abbeville.
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Randy Pistorius is a lifelong resident of South Louisiana and is currently working in the communications field in the Baton Rouge Metropolitian Area. Randy’s start in journalism came while still in high school at De La Salle in New Orleans and that carried with him to Southeastern Louisiana University where he wrote for the Lions Roar and also worked in…