The Brusly boys basketball team should expect no easy breaks form the 2014 District 7-3A schedule, according to Panther head coach Harold Boudreaux.
The Panthers (11-7) were set to begin the 7-3A slate Wednesday against a red-hot University High. The competition gets no easier for Brusly, which visits perennial 3A contender Parkview Baptist on Friday.
“University is a well coached, good ball club with some good personnel,” Boudreaux said. “They’re big, but we can play with them if we make sure to stick to our fundamentals right from the start.”
A sense of optimism hovers over the Panthers at the start of the district run – and for good reason.
Brusly anticipated a rebuilding season after the loss of six seniors, including Jay Christophe and DiMario Jackson.
The pre-district showing instilled confidence in the players.
“We’re not bad at all,” said Boudreaux, now in his sixth season at the helm of the program. “There were, maybe, three games we should’ve won, but that all depends on how the ball bounces.
“Considering we lost six seniors from last year, I’d say we’re doing well in what’s basically a rebuilding season,” he said.
Travin Thibodeaux, who averages 16 points per game, has emerged as a top player on the roster. Other standouts include Shawn Freeman, Michael Bryan and defensive specialist Carlsel Alexander.
“(Thibodeaux) has been very important for us because defense has to be our offense this year,” he said. “When we score, we score, but we just keep pushing on the defense.”
Boudreaux said he needs the Panthers to bring their best showings to the court all season against a district that – at least on paper – appears loaded from top to bottom.
Parkview figures as imposing an opponent as University High, Boudreaux said.
The same can be said about the entire district.
“We’re coming out the gate with a strong schedule, “ Boudreaux said. “Everyone has been playing well, and most have an average of around 10 wins. I’d definitely call this one of the toughest districts in Louisiana.”