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LHSAA to Split Top 28 Hoops Tourneys

January 28, 2013
Peabody Magnet High School

LHSAA to split Top 28 hoops tourneys


The LHSAA voted to separate the boys and girls Top 28 basketball tournaments Friday at the state convention in Baton Rouge.

The measure will return the tournaments to the old method used to determine the state champions where semifinals and finals are held at the same site and boys and girls tournaments are held a week apart.

New LHSAA Executive Committee President Todd Guice said the measure passed overwhelmingly.

The measure ditches the experimental method that was used last season and will be used this season of revolving semifinal and final sites in different regions of the state.

"I didn't really have a preference, but I wanted to see how it played out," Guice said.

Beginning next year, the girls Top 28 tournament will be played on the 35th week of the season. The boys will be played the following week.

All classifications will begin playing semifinal games early in the week with the finals being held later in the same week.

Different locations will have to bid to host the tournaments, Guice said.

Under last year's revolving tournament, Louisiana Tech hosted the boys and girls finals at the Thomas Assembly Center. This year, ULM will host both at Fant-Ewing Coliseum on March 6-9.

Sites will bid for the tournaments and will be decided in the summer. It is possible the boys and girls locations will be split and in southern Louisiana as they were in the past.

Guice said northern Louisiana schools were used to the old setup where the boys were in Lafayette and the girls were in Hammond, so possibly returning south for championships was not an issue.

Guice said neither of his head coaches had a preference to the format.

West Monroe girls coach John Green said he got the impression from most coaches they preferred the old method. While he had no real preference either, he said if he had to pick, he'd go back to the traditional setup, which is basically what the LHSAA did.

"There was good with both avenues," Green said. "I liked being able to see the final four boys and girls teams all at the same time when otherwise I might not have had a chance to see the boys."

The downside to the current format, Green said, was the quick turnaround time between quarter and semifinal games, which allowed for shorter practice time, especially if a team had to travel.

Green said one good thing about splitting boys and girls tournaments is the attention girls basketball will receive.

Having split tournaments means media and fans can focus on the girls finals rather than the boys since the two aren't being played at the same time.

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