St. Aug No. 1, Chapelle No. 8 in initial basketball polls

mca_dominican    Just three points separate Class 4A St. Augustine’s basketball team from No. 2 Peabody in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s first 2012 Top 10 polls.
    St. Augustine (23-2), the reigning Class 5A champion which dropped in class, received seven of 11 first-place votes and a total of 128 points from writers. Peabody, which won the 4A title last year, garnered the other four first-place votes and 125 points.
    Peabody’s lone defeat came in the finals of the Dec. 30 St. Martinville tournament by a 77-71 score to Westgate (20-2), the No. 2 team in 5A this week.
    The Purple Knights’ defeats were against Scotlandville (21-2), 54-53, on Dec. 17, and to Lone Peak, S.C., 65-54, in a Myrtle Beach tournament on Dec. 29.
    Archbishop Chapelle’s 16-3 record gained the Chipmunks the No. 8 position in the girls’ Class 5A poll, even though they lost a district 9-5A game to West Jefferson, 41-29.
    In a class dominated by unbeatens Southwood (22-0) and Lafayette (21-0), Chapelle  earned 42 voting points. They were again picked to repeat as champion in their district, where they will be tested by Dominican, Mount Carmel, Chalmette, Grace King and West Jefferson.
    Dominican opened district play by defeating Mount Carmel, 36-26, and Chalmette, 47-13. Mount Carmel followed the loss at Dominican with a 51-35 win over Grace King.
    West Jefferson (9-3) received four points for its win over Chapelle.
    St. Augustine and Chapelle were the only local Catholic schools to gain spots in the polls.
maya_scott   Brother Martin (10-10) was the leading vote-getter among the also-rans with 21 points. The voters found that the Crusaders’ record was deceiving. They played a tough predistrict schedule without their best player, Jabbar Singleton, who was injured playing football. He’s back now, and Martin is favored to win the “Catholic League-plus 3.”
    Holy Cross (14-7) also received 21 points in the 4A poll, but not enough to get the No. 10 position.
    The Tigers return the nucleus of a team that made it to the Top 28 last year. The Tigers aren’t tall – only one player is 6-5 and the rest are in the 6-1, 6-2 range – but they have a deep bench and can bring fresh legs in often. Unfortunately, they are in a district with St. Aug, who has beaten them twice. Holy Cross won seven of its first eight games but has dropped the last three (to Martin, Jesuit and East Jefferson), which hurt its poll ranking.
    De La Salle (13-7) received three votes in the boys’ Class 3A list. District 10-3A favorite McMain (16-6) fell six points shy of the No. 10 spot.
    Xavier Prep (12-8) is the No. 10 team in the girls’ Class 3A poll. The Yellowjackets earned that place by receiving 32 points.
    St. Mary’s Academy was awarded six points. The Cougars (10-7), who have a 37-34  win over West Jefferson, were scheduled to meet Xavier Prep on Jan. 16.

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