U-High, St. Michael second in polls

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Being No. 2 is just fine with me. I’d rather not have that target on us. There’s still a lot of season left.” BONITA JOHNSON,   University High girls coach

Being ranked No. 1 is always considered to be an accomplishment. Reactions from the two coaches ranked atop the same poll proves that point.

“I think every coach and every team wants to be
No. 1,” St. Thomas Aquinas coach John White said. “You practice hard all week with the idea that you go out and compete on Tuesdays and
Fridays to be the best you can be.

“The LSWA polls are one opinion. Our girls know we have to continue to work and get better.”

Hammond-based STA (15-5) is ranked No. 1 in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 2A girls basketball poll, ahead of Baton Rouge’s University High (18-5). The Falcons got six first-place votes and 124 points. U-High received third first-place votes and 119 points in. The polls are voted on by a panel of sportswriters from across the state.

“Being No. 2 is just fine with me,” University High coach Bonita Johnson said. “I’d rather not have that target on us. There’s still a lot of season left.”

Johnson’s Cubs (18-5) were one of two Baton Rouge teams to garner No. 2 rankings in the LSWA polls. St. Michael the Archangel (21-3) was ranked second in 4A by a panel of sportswriters from across the state.

“That’s good news,” St. Michael coach Tami Reynolds-McClure said of her team’s ranking. “I’m very pleased with how this group is playing. We’re starting five seniors right now. They’ve been together four years and know what to expect and what to do.

“There are so many very good 4A teams out there, like Warren Easton. It’s good to considered in that group.”

The LSWA polls feature two unbeaten teams.

New Orleans-based Easton (18-0) is one of those teams and grabbed the top 4A spot. Shreveport-based Southwood (12-0) is the other unbeaten and topped the 5A poll.

Another north Louisiana team, Caldwell (18-3), leads the 3A poll. Meanwhile, District 9-1A-based West
St. John (18-1) took the 1A No. 1 spot by a single point in the voting, just ahead of
Abbeville’s Vermilion Catholic (17-3).

Fairview (31-1) led the list of
teams in the combined poll for teams in Classes B-C.

The Class 5A poll features one Baton Rouge area team in fifth-ranked Denham Springs (15-5).

Northshore-based Mandeville took sixth (17-3), just ahead of Ponchatoula (15-5).

Broadmoor (15-4) is the other Baton Rouge team in the 4A poll. The Bucs claimed a No. 9 ranking.

In addition to Easton,
No. 4 Helen Cox (16-3) and
No. 5 Salmen (16-2) are other New Orleans-area teams. Houma’s Vandebilt Catholic (17-3) was rated third, while Lafayette’s St. Thomas More (15-4)
garnered the No. 6 spot.

Baker (13-5), rated third in 3A, was the next highest rated among the Baton Rouge teams. Albany (13-8), the 3A runner-up last spring, was rated fourth.

Defending champion John Curtis (12-7), rated fifth, was the top New Orleans area team in the 2A poll. Livingston-based Doyle (16-4), a district rival of St. Thomas Aquinas, claimed the No. 6 spot among 2A teams.

Southern Lab (8-4), rated No. 8, was the only BR team in the 1A top 10. Metairie’s St. Martin’s Episcopal (12-9) took the No. 9 spot.