Creek girls host Hamilton Christian Wednesday

After an impressive regular season that saw Cedar Creek claim 25 wins on the hardwood, the Lady Cougars are the No. 2 seed in the Division IV playoffs and will open their playoff march on Wednesday night.

Creek (25-2), the District 2-1A runner-up to No. 1 seed Ouachita Christian, will host No. 15 seed Hamilton Christian at the Brickhouse. Tip time is 6 p.m.

Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the door to the gym Wednesday night.

Hamilton Christian, based in Lake Charles, comes out of District 4-1A and enters the playoffs with a 10-15 record. However, the program has played 15 games against higher classification schools, including six against 4A or 5A teams.

“We got a little film on them,” said Creek head coach Gene VanDenlangenberg. “They have a good little guard. She is really good. She really is. She is a little quick guard who can shoot it outside and mid-range. She likes to get in the gap and drive.

“It’s hard to tell a lot about a team’s athleticism on film. The look like they are fairly athletic. The thing that catches my attention is they have played some (higher classification) teams close. They will have to travel a long way to Ruston. We want to get out to a good start and get our game going early. If we stumble and certain things happen, we could be in for a tough game.

“They like to extend their defense. They will play a little 1-2-2 out of it. They extend the out defensively and make you extend your offense and get you out of sync. We need to move the ball around and find the gaps.”

Cedar Creek has been led by senior point guard Sarah Adams all season as the all-state prospect spearheads the Cougars on both ends of the floor. Allie Furr, Millie Venters, Lizzie McAdams and a host of other Lady Cougars will need to play their A games in order for the team to make a run at the state title.

“I think we are in a good place,” said Vandenlangenberg. “I think we are as healthy as we have been all year. The girls are practicing hard. I think we are confident. We feel good about being the No. 2 seed. This is a team we have never played. We aren’t familiar with Hamilton Christian. That’s the fun part about the playoffs. To my knowledge we have never played. You get to play teams you’ve never seen before.”

The winner of Wednesday night’s game will face the winner of the No. 7 seed Central Catholic and the No. 10 seed Central Private. The game would be played at Cedar Creek as well. The other teams on the Creek side of the bracket include No. 3 St. Johns, No. 6 St. Martin’s Episcopal, No. 11 Hanson Memorial and No. 14 Westminster Christian.

“I do like our draw,” said Vandenlangenberg. “We are on the opposite side of OCS so we wouldn’t see them until the title game. And anything can happen when you make the title game. Southern Lab is sleeper. They are coming back after two years of not having a program. Two years ago, they made it to the semifinals. They have played a tough schedule; played some bigger schools. They seem to be in position to make a run and they are on the other side.

“Highland Baptist is on the other side too. They played OCS in the title game last year. We know we have to play well to advance from our side, but I do like our draw.”

If Cedar Creek wins its first two playoff games, they will earn a trip to New Orleans to play in the final four of Division IV.

“In past years we’ve had more time to prepare for a playoff game, but I like it better like this,” said Vandenlangenberg. “We just have to strap it up and play. We are confident and being at home is such an advantage.”