CHS Hoopsters Host Quarterfinal Playoff Game
Quarterfinal basketball arrives at Catholic High on Friday night as the Bears play host to the visiting St. Augustine Purple Knights. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
The #3 Bears enter tonight’s game with a 20-8 record and received a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Mark Cascio’s squad has been inactive since the district tournament two weeks ago, but knocked off some rust with an exhibition game win at defending Division II state champion De La Salle. The Bears are led by Collin Holloway (14 points per game), Deuce Garnett (12 ppg) and Hunter Williams (9.6 ppg).
The #6 Knights are the Catholic League champions and sport a 20-10 record. They defeated #11 and district foe John Curtis on Tuesday night, 51-49. The Knights benefited from two free throws with four seconds left in the regional round match.
St. Augustine is coached by Mitchell Johnson and the program has a rich basketball tradition. The Knights have won five state championships since 1983, including a national championship in 1995.
Fifth year CHS basketball coach Mark Cascio, talked about the game plan and some keys heading into tonight’s Division I quarterfinal event. “St. Aug plays a slow-it-down tempo style that works to limit opponent’s possessions. They are content with scoring in the upper 30s to low 40s point range and beating you. They average between 10-11 points per quarter for the season,” said Cascio. “We must guard the drive and keep them from converting easy baskets. St. Aug is a physical team that plays hard on defense, so we must match their physicality and outwork them on the boards.”
Cascio also shared some thoughts on the opponent’s key players. “They aren’t blessed with tremendous height but still have a 6’4″ post player. Their point guard, Byron Celestine, is 5’10”, but he is their best player. They have no standouts, but coach Johnson does a great job at getting his team ready to play hard and compete.”
The victor of tonight’s game advances to the Division I semifinals to face the winner of #2 St. Paul’s and #10 Brother Martin in Lake Charles next week. Burton Coliseum at McNeese State will host the Final Four.
The date and time of the semifinal matchup will be announced in the very near future. Visit www.lhsaa.org for more information.