Patterson will host Evangel Friday
The Patterson Lumberjacks will begin postseason play Friday evening when they host Evangel Christian in Class 3A Bi-district action. Patterson is the No. 7 seed, while Evangel is the No. 26 seed. Above, Patterson’s Dontrell Benjamin dribbles toward the basket against West St. Mary during nondistrict action in January. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Football powers Patterson and Evangel will square off in the opening round of Class 3A state basketball playoffs Friday at Patterson.
Patterson, (19-4) the No. 7 seed, finished as District 9-3A co-champs with Donaldsonville as both finished 7-1 in the district. The Lumberjacks won a coin toss to enter the postseason as the top seed.
“I think flipping the coin with Donaldsonville and not playing a game to determine the top seed has been good for us,” Patterson coach Ryan Taylor said. “Both coaches knew it would be a tough, physical game that wasn’t going to change very much. The two days of rest has been good for us.”
The teams split during the regular season and Donaldsonville got the No. 8 seed. Patterson has won the district championship four years in a row.
The Lumberjacks finished district play Friday with a 64-55 win against Franklin. Jedrick Gunner and Nehemiah Augustus had 20 points each for Patterson, while Larry Turner added 12. Other top contributors included Dontrell Benjamin and Daylon Charlot with five points each.
“Our guys understand what’s at stake, and they have played unselfishly,” Taylor said. “We don’t have a dominate scorer; everybody gets involved and can score and that keeps the defense honest. Nehemiah is statistically our leading scorer, but on any given night one of the other guys can carry the scoring load.”
Evangel, (17-13) the 26th seed, is an athletic team Taylor said.
“They have some good looking kids,” Taylor said. “They’re very quick, they like to get into the paint and get you in foul trouble. They also move well without the ball.”
Point guard Timothy Stokes and small forward Calvin Daniels are the team’s top offensive threats.
“Their other kids are good at getting those guys open for shots,” Taylor said. “But then they crash the boards and get their points on hustle plays.”
The Eagles come into Friday’s game after losing two of their last three games to Booker T. Washington and highly-regarded Bossier.
“We’re going to do what has been successful for (us) all season,” Taylor said. “We are going to pressure them and try to force turnovers. We’ve got a lot of points in transition this season, so we will look get some easy baskets.”
On offense, Patterson wants to be patient.
“We have to take our time and get the best shot we can,” Taylor said. “The kids have been playing well, so we’re just going to go out there and play our game.”
Friday’s game will begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission will be $7.