All game long, even through a television screen, fans could see senior Decari Markray clamoring for his team to stay engaged for the full length of their state semifinals game against JS Clark on Wednesday night in Lake Charles.
Markray willed his team to victory with an incredible 30-point, 15-rebound performance that included the game-winning basket as the Panthers beat Clark 63-61 to advance to the Class B state finals.
“Well I’m happy,” Doyline coach Michael Normand said. “But, not satisfied.”
The Panthers will face #1 Simsboro on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. for all the marbles.
Doyline hasn’t lost since the middle of November. Simsboro already has eight games scoring over 100 points this year, an incredible feat considering eight-minute quarters and that it is high school.
The state finals will be a battle for the ages, but let’s not forget the incredible game served up to us in the semis.
Freshman Jamaria Clark continued to assert his position as one of the best in the state. Clark went for 14 points and steadied the ship at point guard with an impressive performance.
But it was all about Markray.
Last season’s MPH All-Parish MVP took over when it mattered.
“Yes, 30 and 15 is a heck of a night,” Normand said.
Doyline made the right plays down the stretch, trusting each other and continuing to encourage, as they have all season long.
“Everybody on our team knows everybody else has a certain ability,” Normand said. “I suppose there is a trust factor there. I’m not really sure what it is.”
This team is special. Whether or not they will go down as state champions will come down to a battle with the two-time defending state champs in Simsboro.
Either way, Doyline has put themselves on the map, especially in Webster Parish.
Saturday’s game is available to stream at the NFHS Network’s website, where you can sign up for a $10.99-per-month subscription to view all games.