Central Catholic High School's Ja'len Johnson lays up a shot against St. John during Tuesday's contest in Morgan City. Central Catholic will continue Division IV
postseason play Friday when it travels to face Hamilton Christian in a 6 p.m. contest. (The Daily Review/Corwin Murray)
CCHS to facwe Hamilton Christian
Central Catholic will be looking for its first semifinal appearance in 16 years when it travels to face Hamilton Christian Friday at 6 p.m. in Division IV quarterfinal action in Lake Charles.
The Eagles, who advanced to the Class 1A semifinals in 2001, are back in the quarterfinal round for the first time since 2013 when they fell at Arcadia, 64-44.
They are facing Hamilton Christian for the second time in four years. Two years ago, the Eagles fell at Hamilton Christian in the Class 1A regional round, 61-47.
Central Catholic Coach Ree Case said a familiarity of the facility they will be playing in will help his squad.
“Two years ago when we played them, they were a lot better than us,” Case said. “They had a better team than us, and we actually played them really well. We were in the game and had a chance to win the game, so I hope that helps us. We’ve got three seniors that have been playing for five years now. They’ve been in the playoffs all five years. It’s time to go on the road and win a big game.”
As for this year’s squad, Hamilton Christian enters Friday’s contest as the No. 3 seed. The Warriors sport a 20-12 record and won District 4-1A with a 14-0 mark. Hamilton Christian has won five straight.
After receiving a first-round bye, Hamilton Christian defeated No. 14 Ascension Catholic, 89-53, Monday.
Case attended Monday’s game in case his team would meet Hamilton Christian in the quarterfinal game. In that regional contest, Hamilton Christian senior guard Camren Hare scored 35 points in the victory.
“He had one of those nights,” Case said. “He made a couple of shots early and got it going, but they’re just solid, 1-5.”
Central Catholic, the No. 6 seed, received a first-round bye before routing No. 11 St. Joh, 66-32, Tuesday.
While the Eagles had to defend basically five guards against St. John, Case said he his team matches up better with Hamilton Christian.
Central Catholic is one of five teams from its district that is still alive in the postseason as Centerville is still playing in the Class 1A bracket, while Vermilion Catholic, Ascension Episcopal and Lafayette Christian Academy all are still competing in the Division IV bracket.
“I was really impressed with VC’s win,” Case said. "Ascension Episcopal won, and Centerville’s won two big games so far, and then everybody knew about LCA, but the other teams in our district have really been playing well. You go through and you lose some games in district, and you’re kind of upset and then you get in the playoffs and they start playing other teams, and you realize maybe those teams were a little better than you thought they were.”