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High school boys basketball: Minden opens playoffs at home Thursday night

by Russell Hedges

The Minden Crimson Tide open the non-select Division II playoffs Thursday night at 6:30 at home.

Minden (14-8), the No. 14 seed, faces No. 19 Leesville (13-15). Admission is $10.

Minden is in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. It’s the Tide’s first home playoff game since 2011. That’s also the last time the Tide won a playoff game.

Leesville, which finished fifth in District 3, is making its first playoff appearance since 2019 when the Wampus Cats lost in the Class 4A semifinals.

Leesville got off to a 7-2 start, but the Wampus Cats have only won six games since then. Leesville lost its final four games, all district. The Wampus Cats fell to district champion Washington-Marion 88-55 in the regular-season finale Feb. 12.

Washington-Marion is the No. 17 seed in select Division II.

Minden finished fourth in District 1-4A. But the Tide were only one game behind tri-champions Bossier, Huntington and Evangel Christian.

Minden actually came close to winning the district championship in Jacob Brown’s first year as head coach.

The Tide fell to Woodlawn 60-58 in their final regular-season game Feb. 13. Minden also had a late lead against Bossier before falling 59-55 on Jan. 30.

Minden has had many players step up this season. Among those are Maurice Rabb, Jekoye Knowles, Darnell Morris, Carmelo Smith, Chris Harris, Christian Lofton, Cameron Parker, Kameron Harris and Hudson Brown.

Morris averaged 11.7 points in seven district games. Parker averaged 10.1 and Rabb averaged 9.1.

Smith, Kameron Harris and Knowles all scored in double figures in at least one district game.

The No. 5 seed Doyline Panthers (23-3) open the non-select Division V playoffs against No. 28 Castor (13-17) Friday night at 6:30 at Doyline.

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