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6 New Orleans area boys basketball teams advance to state semifinals



Six New Orleans area schools advanced to play state semifinal games this week at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles with a chance to reach the state finals. Semifinals are Monday through Thursday. The finals are Friday and Saturday. Here is a quick glance at those six area schools.

Division I nonselect


How they got here: With 6-foot-8 junior Allen Graves as a leading player, averaging nearly 20 points and more than 10 rebounds on the season, the No. 3 Green Wave (28-7) defeated No. 6 Sulphur 62-48 in a quarterfinal.

History: A state final berth would be a first for the boys basketball program.

What’s next: Semifinal against No. 2 Ruston (30-3), 6:15 p.m. Thursday. Winner to face No. 1 New Iberia (30-3) or No. 4 Walker (30-5) in a state final, 8 p.m. Saturday.

Division II select


How they got here: Sophomore Daijon Leatherman posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds as No. 6 Carver topped No. 3 Hannan 60-50 in a quarterfinal battle of schools that won state championships last season.

History: Carver (23-10) has been to the state tournament four years in a row, winning the Class 4A crown last season after losing a semifinal in 2020 and finishing as a runner-up in 2021. This is the first appearance with senior Jaylon Hicks and junior Laurence Nathan as the Rams’ leading players. Semifinal opponent Peabody has won nine state titles, with the most recent in 2020.

What’s next: Semifinal against No. 2 Peabody (26-6), 4:45 p.m. Thursday. Winner to face No. 1 Madison Prep (32-2) or No. 5 Shaw in the state final, 2 p.m. Saturday.


How they got here: Senior Kameron Johnson scored 26 points and junior Chris Creppel had 17 as the fifth-seeded Eagles won on the road against No. 4 Vandebilt Catholic 54-45.

History: Shaw (23-5) returned to the state tournament after a semifinal finish last season in the Division I bracket. Shaw last reached a state final in 2001 and last won a state title in 2000. The only other title came in 1997. Semifinal opponent Madison Prep has won eight titles in the past 10 seasons.

What’s next: Semifinal against No. 1 Madison Prep, 3 p.m. Thursday. Winner to face No. 2 Peabody or No. 6 Carver in the state final, 2 p.m. Saturday.

Division III select


How they got here: Chris Lockett Jr. and Canin Jefferson combined for five 3-pointers in the first quarter, and each scored 16 points in a 62-26 quarterfinal victory against Sophie B. Wright. Lockett signed in November with Boise State.

History: The Greenies (24-3) seek a third consecutive state title game appearance after winning last season for the first time since coach Randy Livingston played on three title-winning teams from 1991-93. The semifinal against Dunham will be a rematch from when Newman lost 52-48 in the 2021 state final.

What’s next: Semifinal against No. 4 Dunham (21-8), 1:15 p.m. Tuesday. Winner to face No. 3 Calvary Baptist (25-5) or No. 10 Catholic-New Iberia (21-9) in a state final, 2 p.m. Friday.

Division IV select

Crescent City

How they got here: Freshman Dwight McGee scored 24 points and senior Christopher Douglas added 13 as third-seeded Crescent City defeated No. 6 Central Catholic 60-57 in a quarterfinal.

History: The Pioneers (23-4) won three state titles in five appearances from 2017-21. This season’s roster is filled mostly with sophomores and freshmen.

What’s next: Semifinal against No. 2 Lincoln Prep  (24-4), 1:15 p.m. Thursday. Winner to face No. 1 Northwood-Lena (28-7) or No. 4 St. Martin’s in the state final, noon Saturday.

St. Martin’s

How they got here: Junior Matt Weaver scored 19 points and made two 3-pointers to help the fourth-seeded Saints (22-9) defeat No. 5 Hamilton Christian 65-54 in a quarterfinal. Junior Pat LaForge had 17 points.

History: This is the first semifinal berth in school history after quarterfinal appearances in 2018 and 2022. Coach Michael Odom, a 1992 St. Martin’s graduate, is in his 21st season as head coach.

What’s next: Semifinal against No. 1 Northwood-Lena, 1:15 p.m. Wednesday. Winner to face No. 2 Lincoln Prep or No. 3 Crescent City in the state final, noon Saturday.

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