The Patterson High School Lumberjacks will begin first-round playoff action Friday when it hosts Richwood in a 7 p.m. contest. (The Daily Review/Diane Miller Fears)
Patterson High School hosts Richwood in what will be a tall task
Patterson High School may be the home team and the higher seed, but the Lumberjacks literally will face a tall challenge when hosting Richwood Friday at 7 p.m.
Richwood, the No. 19 seed, features several players who are in the 6-foot, 4-inch, to 6-foot, 5-inch range, Patterson High School Coach Ryan Taylor said.
“Our primary concern is going to be their size inside,” Taylor said. “If they beat us shooting from 19, 20 feet, then we got to live with it, but their size, they can get two, three feet from the goal, and we’re going to have a tough time all night.”
The Rams utilize about 12 players in their rotation.
“They roll guys in just nonstop,” Taylor said. “They got a good mix of big guys and guards that they just keep rolling them (in).”
If the size advantage wasn’t enough, Patterson also will be facing a team that has been a traditional basketball powerhouse in Louisiana.
“It’s not a secret about their tradition,” Taylor said. “They’ve been one of the top teams in the state now for several years for a reason. Coach (Terry) Martin over there does a great job. They have a lot of talent, size. Yeah, they’re a 19 seed, but that’s very deceiving.”
The Rams play in a district that also features this year’s No. 2 seed (Wossman), No. 3 seed (Carroll), No. 6 seed (Madison) and No. 11 seed (Union Parish).
“They have a challenging schedule with their district along with the other teams they play in that Monroe area are good,” Taylor said.
As for Patterson, the Lumberjacks earned their seventh straight district title this year. The team entered the season low on experience after suffering losses due to graduation.
“I’m very pleased with the growth of this team,” Taylor said. “We started out a little sluggish, but a lot of that had to do with … the inexperience. Before the season, we looked at we only really had two guys who played significant minutes last year, and a third, maybe two other guys that played some minutes, so you’re looking at four of the 14 varsity players had any varsity experience.”
The Lumberjacks have really caught fire after a team meeting in early January and beginning district after.
“From that point on, the guys have been playing well,” Taylor said. “I’m very, very proud and pleased with the way they’ve played all year.”