By Ron Brocato, Clarion Herald
Four local Catholic high schools received St. Valentine’s Day gifts from the Louisiana High School Athletic Association: Each other.
When the girls’ Division II select playoffs will have begun on Feb. 14, St. Scholastica will be hosting northshore rival Archbishop Hannan, while the Academy of Our Lady opens the bi-district round at home against De La Salle.
A 12-20 record gave St. Scholastica the No. 16 seed, while Hannan (9-17) enters the playoffs as the No. 17 seed, although the Hawks defeated SSA, 44-40, in a Jan. 4 meeting.
No. 15 Academy of Our Lady (9-16) defeated No. 18 De La Salle (6-20), 35-29, on Dec. 4.
The two winners move on to the regional round on Feb. 18.
Also competing in the Valentine’s Day bi-district round are No. 20 St. Charles Catholic (5-19), which will visit No. 13 David Thibodaux (11-14), and the No. 22 seed Academy of the Sacred Heart (3-25) at No. 11 St. Michael the Archangel (15-14).
Ursuline Academy will open defense of its 2018 Division II title at home against the winner of the St. Charles Catholic-David Thibodaux game in the regional round on Feb. 18 at home. The Lions enter the playoffs with a 20-8 record and the No. 4 seed.
St. Katharine Drexel Prep, the defending Division III champion, will also play at home on Feb. 18 against the No. 14 seed Riverside Academy (6-19). Drexel Prep, which defeated St. Mary’s Academy for the 2018 Division III crown, takes a 19-7 record and No. 3 seed into that regional round game.
Eight schools from the Archdiocese of New Orleans are among the 21 Division II playoff qualifiers.
Ranked in the bottom half of the bracket is Cabrini at No. 7. The Crescents, which carry a 19-12 record into the Feb. 18 regional round, will host No. 10 Haynes Academy (19-8).
With only nine teams entered in the Division I playoffs, all four teams from District 9-5A drew byes through the first two rounds of the playoffs and will not have a game until Feb. 21 in the quarterfinal round.
No. 2 Dominican (23-6) will then host No. 7 Byrd High of Shreveport. No. 3 Mount Carmel (20-9) will host No. 6 Scotlandville (8-20). No. 4 Archbishop Chapelle (13-15) will face visiting No. 5 seed St. Joseph’s Academy (13-18), and the top seed, John Curtis (26-4), will play No. 9 Evangel (0-19).
Drexel Prep and St. Mary’s Academy are among the 19 schools entered in the Division III playoffs.
St. Mary’s (10-20) drew the No. 10 seed and earned a bye in the bi-district round. But the 2018 Division II runners-up Cougars will play in the regional round on Feb. 18 at No. 7 Catholic of New Iberia (17-9).
The Select state tournament will be held at the Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria Feb. 25 to March 2.
The Select schools’ playoffs for boys’ teams will begin on Feb. 22. The regional round is scheduled for Feb. 26, and the quarterfinals is on March 1.
The semifinals and finals will be held at Burth Coliseum in Lake Charles, March 4-9.