Rayville High School Hornets continue to roll
What does a coach do when he loses four starters from a double (2018-2019) state championship team?
Some coaches would sigh or even cry and remember those glory days. Not Coach Damon West and his staff. They simply replace, rebuild or as some say, reload.
The latter may be the case as Coach Antonio James, no slouch himself as a coach of the junior varsity, has only lost a game or maybe two or three in the last five years.
Even so, some adjustments have to be made. For one thing, you stop scoring over a hundred points a game as was the case in many games last year. You see you have lost 50 or 60 points a game from that departing four.
So Coach West, ignoring offers for more money at larger schools, simply goes back to work. He maintains a tough summer program where he won 24 games while losing two or three or at the most four. He continues to play a tough preseason schedule to give the boys a baptism under fire.
They have just returned from the strongest tournament in the state at Lake Charles in the vaunted Showdown at the Lake where only the elite teams in the state are invited.
Here they won two of three beating North Central, defending state champions, in single A, 72-60. In the second game, they bested the team that beat them last year in this same tournament, perennially tough Peabody of Alexandria, 76-75. They are a Triple A school, particularly tough because they are a magnet school and can recruit from any zone.
They lost to exceedingly tough Bossier City High, a Triple A powerhouse, 53-64.
Following is the scoring in the three games:
• Zyquarius Cowart 15, 3, 0
• Christopher Jones 8 2, 5
• LaBrandon Bulter 4 13, 4
• Dameron Williams 8 13, 12
• Jay Pleasant 16, 6, 4
• Kashie Natt 12, 18, 10
• Derrich Dawson 3, 0, 2
• Jalon Qualls 6, 13, 8
• Cameron Smith 3, 8, 8
• Tyler Bess 0, 0, 2
• De’Margus Dixon 0, 0, 0
• Devon Ellis 0, 0, 0
Next action is the tough Wossman tournament in Monroe this weekend.