Parkview Baptist and University High became rivals in football for the first time last fall.
U-High won a regular-season game and a Division II semifinal over the Eagles to open what should be a fast-growing rivalry.
PBS coach Don Green expects that rivalry to translate to basketball. Parkview hosts University for District 7-3A key girls and boys games Tuesday night. Action begins at 5 p.m. with a boys junior varsity game.
“I just think games like this are good for Baton Rouge,” Green said. “You’ve got players and teams that put a lot into preparing to get to where they are now. I think you’ve got good match-ups.”
Though much of the emphasis will be on the boys game, the girls game also is notable for Green, who serves as head coach for the boys and girls teams.
“There’s no question what the key for us is in the girls game,” Green said. “You have to be able to withstand U-High’s pressure. They come at you with full court press the entire game. That will be a big test.”
Green’s young PBS girls squad has just one senior and one sophomore. The rest of the squad is made up of eighth-graders and freshmen. Skyler Goodwin, a 5-foot-10 freshman, averages 15 points per game. Another youngster, 5-11 Leah Collins, the younger sister of LSU lineman La’el Collins, adds 10 for the Eagles (11-7).
Senior post player James Thompson (6-9) averages 17 points and 12 rebounds a game for Eagles (9-7). Thompson is the state’s most sought-after unsigned senior. Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown of SMU is among the coaches who have come to watch the PBS boys. UConn and Houston also has made the trek to Louisiana.
Both teams see the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Top 28 tourney in Lake Charles as their ultimate destination.
A year ago, the Eagles advanced to the 3A semifinals. U-High was a 2A semifinalist. The Cubs have a lineup that features several players who stand 6-6 or better. Another senior, Reed Vial, adds 15 points, while Anthony Stove, the cousin of Christian Life standout Johnathan Stove, has a 10.0 average.
“Size is only one of the issues you have when you play U-High,” Green said. “They’re a highly skilled, well-coached team. We’re excited about this one.”
Sort of déjà vu
Dutchtown High lost its final predistrict tuneup to Class 3A Glen Oaks a year ago. But coach Patrick Hill’s Griffins learned from the loss and went on to enjoy their best 5A season.
Hill views Tuesday’s game at Class 4A Tara the same way. And for good reason, since Tara coach Marqus Mitchell was a Glen Oaks assistant a year ago.
“The Glen Oaks game was a measuring stick,” Hill said. “We found out there were some things we needed to work on and that made us better.
“Tara has some impressive wins over some good teams. It seems like they’re getting better every game and that’s just the kind of challenge we need.”
To date, Dutchtown (16-2) has lost to two 3A teams, Port Allen and Donaldsonville. Cousins Christian and Patrick Thompson help lead the way for the Griffins this season.
A nondistrict game between Class 5A McKinley and 1A Madison Prep has been moved to Thursday.
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday at Baton Rouge Community College.
The fact that LSU hosts Vandebilt on Saturday helped prompt the change. The teams will play freshman, junior varsity and varsity games starting at 5 p.m.