Parkview Baptist tries to keep storybook season going

With two state basketball championships at the school under his belt Parvkiew Baptist boy coach Don Green is not accustomed to being cast in the role of Cinderella.

However, after three straight postseason upsets — including the elimination of the defending state champions — that’s exactly where No. 23 Parkview Baptist (18-13) finds itself heading into Saturday’s LHSAA/North Regional against No. 3 Farmerville (24-6) at 4:30 p.m. at CenturyLink Center in Bossier City.

“It just fell right for us and to be able to play two games at home and that was great,” said Green, who guided Parkview to consecutive state titles in 1997 and ’98. “Whether it’s Cinderella or not, I don’t know, but we accept the fact that we’re excited about what we’re doing.”

Parkview will be joined in Bossier City where fourth-seeded East Ascension (30-4), which will try to tackle top-seeded Ouachita Parish (30-4) at 8 p.m.

“It’s not the trip, it’s the game and handling that,” EA coach Kenny Almond said. “They’ve been pretty good at that earlier in the season and last week. They’ve prepared well, and have done what we’ve asked.”

No. 11 Istrouma (27-6) makes its first semifinal appearance in 49 years when the Indians face No. 2 St. Thomas More-Lafayette at 4:30 p.m. in the Southwest Regional at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

“We have a lot of people on the outside that feel happy for us, but we’re not done,” Istrouma coach Aaron Pearson said. “We still have games to play. We’re happy to be still playing and there are only four teams left but there’s still so more to accomplish.”

Istrouma punched its historic ticket Tuesday with a 68-63 victory over Alexandria, riding a game-high 26 points from Devin Bethley to knock out the third-seeded Trojans. Bethley, a 5-foot-10 senior, leads a balanced scoring effort with 17 points followed by 6-7 junior Marquise Kaigler (16) and junior Tevin Walker (15).

“I definitely didn’t want them to feel satisfied,” said Pearson, who played on Southern Lab’s Class 1A state title team in 2005. “That’s not what we came into the season being satisfied by getting this far.”

EA simulated its long trek north a week ago with a 58-56 regional win over Captain Shreve and now meet an Ouachita team that’s won its last 19 games.

Six-foot-7 junior center Ja’Cardo Hawkins leads the Spartans — who are riding an 11-game win streak — into their first semifinal in five years. Hawkins averages 18 points, while senior Javaughn Williams averages 17.

Parkview’s opening-round 50-39 road victory over No. 10 Westlake turned into the catalyst for the Eagles to return home with wins over No. 7 Patterson (59-52) and defending state champion and No. 2 Richwood (66-61). Junior center James Thompson paces Parkview with an 18-point average, followed by guards Reed Vial (15) and Will Jones (10).

“This was all a part of our process this year,” Green said. “We had a difficult predistrict schedule, and we feel that helped us to be able to compete consistently at a higher level.”

We’re excited about it, but it was somewhat by design.”