The Brusly Panthers head to Monroe for what they hope will be the first of two visits within a couple of weeks.
Fifth-seeded Brusly survived a rugged challenge from New Orleans-based Lusher Charter for a 56-48 win in Class 3A regional playoff action before a capacity crowd at BHS Gymnasium.
The Panthers (25-7) advanced to the quarterfinal round – which takes them to Monroe, host city of this year’s Louisiana State Athletic Association Basketball Championships next week.
The win led the Panthers to perhaps their toughest challenge of the season when they drew No. 4 seed Carroll for the quarterfinals. The game was set for Tuesday night (after press time) in Monroe, just across town from Fant-Ewing Coliseum, which will host the 2013 championship game.
“Going to Monroe (to face Carroll) is a good thing. We look forward to it,” Brusly coach Harold Boudreaux said. “Part of what it takes in the playoffs is to go there and play hard in a hostile environment and be ready to take on whatever they throw at us.
“Carroll reminds me of teams like Dutchtown, Pointe Coupee Central and New Iberia,” he said. “They’re full-contact, hardcore programs.”
It marked the second consecutive year the Panthers advanced to the 3A quarterfinals.
The Panthers weathered a fourth quarter run by Lusher that cut the BHS lead to 42-39. Lusher finished with 23 points in the final quarter.
“Lusher was everything I thought they’d be,” Boudreaux said. “They were hardcore.
“I’m not going to say New Orleans basketball is necessarily better than what you see in Baton Rouge, but inner city basketball creates some good teams. “
Brusly opened to an 11-5 lead, but LCHS got plenty of mileage off Mike Windsay, who chalked 12 points in the first half.
Windsay finished with a game-high 20 points.
The Panthers led 22-17 at halftime.
Senior Jay Christophe led the Panthers with 17 points. Teammate Trevon Thibodaux netted 13 and Donald Williams had nine.
Micha Spears posted six. DeMario Jackson – who fouled out in the second half – notched four, along with teammate Michael Bryant.
Williams and Christophe each hit a three-pointer for Brusly.
Three nights earlier, the Panthers pulled past a first-quarter deficit to defeat future district rival Baker 67-51 in the opening playoff round.
Jackson and Thibodeaux paced Brusly with 16 points apiece, while Spears had 12 and Christophe 11.
The Buffaloes opened with a 13-12 advantage, but the Panthers picked up momentum and led 31-23 at halftime.
The Panthers outscored Baker 16-12 in the third quarter and grinded out 20 points in the final stanza for the win.
Erick Houlbert led Baker with 14 points.