2-5A showdown at RHS tops tonight’s prep slate

There won’t exactly be a packed gym at Ruston High School tonight, but it very well could be filled to capacity for a crucial District 2-5A doubleheader against Ouachita.

Friday’s girls showdown tips at 5:30 with the boys set to start at 7 o’clock at RHS.

With pandemic restrictions, only 400 fans are allowed inside. An early-season doubleheader against Arcadia is the only sellout outing so far for RHS this season. Fans are advised to arrive early since Ouachita should bring a number of supporters.

Both Ruston teams recorded blowout wins at home Tuesday night over Pineville.

The Ruston girls (19-6 overall, 5-1 in District 2-5A) will try to turn the tables on the Lady Lions, who posted a 73-54 victory in Monroe on Jan. 15. RHS coach Meredith Graf is counting on a much-improved defensive performance and the Lady Bearcats’ penchant for shooting well on their homecourt to bolster the odds of squaring the score against OPHS.

The Bearcat boys (15-4, 3-3) dropped a 43-37 decision at Ouachita, but coach Ryan Bond is stressing improved offensive play and got it in an overwhelming 27-2 fourth quarter eruption Tuesday night. He’s hoping his squad will cut down on 25 turnovers in the first encounter with the Lions.

On the north side of town, the Cedar Creek boys host Tensas at 6 in the Brickhouse, hoping to avenge a 47-46 loss in St. Joseph on Jan. 14. There is no girls contest. Lincoln Prep heads to Homer tonight for a district doubleheader.

Simsboro (18-1, 3-0) brings an 11-game win streak into its District 2-B visit to Weston. After pounding the Wolves by 58 at home on Jan. 26, the Tigers will hope to avoid a letdown following Tuesday’s 82-64 victory at Quitman.

Over the past four seasons, Simsboro is 130-15 and is just two points away from winning three straight state championships. The Tigers’ only loss this season is by three to Ruston’s District 2-5A rival, West Monroe, which has been ranked No. 1 in 5A. Their scoring average over 83 per game ranks among the nation’s top 10 and is best in the state, according to MaxPreps.com.

Tonight’s action off La. 4 near Caney Lake begins when the SHS Lady Tigers (8-7, 2-1) aim to rebound from a hard-fought loss to the Lady Wolverines.

After taking both ends of Tuesday’s District 2-B doubleheader at Weston, Choudrant’s girls (13-10, 1-2) will have the homecourt advantage as they battle one of the state’s winningest teams, Quitman (20-2, 3-0), which notched a 50-43 win over visiting CHS on Jan. 26.

The Aggies (12-9, 1-2) meet a Wolverines’ boys team (15-4, 2-1) that gave visiting Simsboro a competitive contest Tuesday. Quitman defended its homecourt against Choudrant, 56-51, in the first matchup this season.

Photo: Ruston High School

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