Fambrough: How do you measure success? Walker has a shot at history.

Fambrough: How do you measure success? Walker has a shot at history.
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The quest for perfection is a common thread that runs through sports. How do you gauge perfection or even success, for that matter?

An unbeaten record certainly is one measure. But what about the last team standing? The one who takes home the top prize, regardless of its record? 

With Walker (35-0) headlining a group of four Baton Rouge area teams seeking semifinal wins on Thursday at the LHSAA girls state basketball tournament, these points are worth pondering. Unless you are Walker coach Korey Arnold.

The top-seeded Lady Cats play reigning champion Parkway (24-7), the No. 5 seed, at 6:15 p.m. in a Division I nonselect semifinal at Southeastern Louisiana’s University Center in Hammond.

“We prepare and scout one game at a time,” Arnold said. “It doesn’t matter if we’re playing the best team in the state or the worst.

“You treat every opponent with respect. You can lose on any given day.”

Walker lost in the semifinals the past two years. The Livingston Parish school’s last LHSAA girls basketball title was in 1977.

For 2023-24, the consensus is that Walker is Louisiana’s best team in all classes or divisions. An asterisk is in play on its undefeated record because the Lady Cats did lose to a Texas team in an out-of-state tournament.

Only one Louisiana team has played Walker to within single digits — Division I select semifinalist John Curtis. Walker beat the Patriots 61-55 in a December tournament.

Yes, girls basketball is a big deal in Livingston Parish. Albany (Division II nonselect) and Doyle (Division III nonselect) play Wednesday night at SLU. Denham Springs (28-4) is the No. 2 seed in Division I nonselect and meets Mandeville (28-5) in the other Division I nonselect game set for 8 p.m.

The Lady Cats play a rotation with up to 10 players. Ja’Miya Vann (18.8 points per game), Kennedi Ard (14.1 ppg) and Leah Eddards (11.1 ppg) are the top scorers.

Could this be Walker’s year? It will take two more games to find out.

Parkway graduated LSU freshman star Mikaylah Williams, but Chloe Larry returns and averages 19 points a game. Dakota Howard has a 15.0 average for Parkway team Arnold said is just as good as last year’s squad.

“You have to play each one. … Parkway is next,” Arnold said.

A debut and more

There are 10 titles up for grabs — five select and five nonselect — something critics say waters down the competition.

With 12 teams in semifinals, this season is arguably among Baton Rouge’s best for girls basketball, regardless of how the finals play out.

Thursday’s five-game schedule begins at 1 p.m. with fifth-seeded Woodlawn (24-9) taking on top-seeded Huntington (26-2) of Shreveport in Woodlawn’s first LHSAA tourney appearance. Amijah Price averages 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Panthers.

Woodlawn is not the only District 4-5A team in the mix. League champion Liberty (24-4) takes on No. 2 Curtis (20-4) at 4:30 p.m. in the other Division I select semifinal. Curtis was the Division I select runner-up last season.

Denham Springs makes its first tourney appearance for coach Rudy Smith in Division I nonselect. Reagan Smith is a 1,000-points career scorer who averages 12 points per game for the Yellow Jackets.

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About Mary Weyand 11874 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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