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|Ferriday faces Lakeside|
The fourth time was the charm for Lakeside High School.
After falling to district rival Springhill three times during the regular season and finishing second in District 1-2A, the Warriors defeated the Lumberjacks 79-77 Friday night in a Class 2A quarterfinal matchup in Sibley to advance to the Top 28 Tournament in Lafayette where they will meet Ferriday Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in a semifinal contest.
"The last two times we played it was real close, we lost both games by four points," said Lakeside coach Jason Gould. "We just didn't finish either game. It was an unbelievable atmosphere at our place Friday and we played a complete game. We certainly consider Springhill one of the top teams in the state."
Lakeside, the No. 7 seed, faces Ferriday High, seeded No. 6, with the winner advancing to the Class 2A state championship game Saturday at 6:30 p.m. St. Thomas Aquinas faces Many in the other semifinal contest.
Lakeside fell to Vidalia in the first round of the playoffs last year. The Warriors have not been to the semifinals since 1995 when they were Sibley High School.
"You get to this level and there are no slouches," said Ferriday High's boys basketball coach K.G. Watkins. "They have a couple of big kids and good shooters. I think the advantage for us is that we have a lot of seniors with experience and have handled pressure real well all year. We know they are going to score some points. We just want to go out and try to limiit their success and maximize our opportunities. The team that wins will be the team that limits its mistakes. We have to play mistake-free basketball and play disciplined."
Lakeside defeated Welsh and Newman before disposing of Springhill.
"We expected to be pretty good," Gould said. "We always set high goals, but this is a treat to make it this far. A lot of things fell the right way for this to happen."
Lakeside is led by 6-foot-6 senior King Johnson.
"We've got some quickness and shoot pretty well," Gould said. "We don't do anything really special."
Ferriday defeated Springhill, Donaldsonville and Episcopal to reach the Top 28.
"I think Ferriday is a little deeper than we are and has more size," Gould said. "They have some real good guards. We have to execute and not turn the ball over. It's usually all about rebounding. And it's going to be about who can get over the awe of being in the Top 28."
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