In addition to the rivalry aspect of the 8-1A district matchups, the boys and girls from both schools are tied atop their respective district standings. So obviously, the winners of each game will be in the driver’s seat heading toward season’s end and the playoffs.
Lady Eagles head coach Kim Guidry said CC presents a new challenge to her team.
“I went and watched when they played (4A) Ellender (CC won 68-54). They looked good, but I think we can play with them,” she said, though she admitted Morgan City can be a tough place for anybody to play.
“They’re going to have their crowd and Morgan City officials, who tend to let them play,” she said, referring to a tendency to not call fouls. “But then, they’ve got to come to our place at the end of the season and we’ll have Lafayette officials, which we’re used to. So, it should all even out.”
VC ends the regular season at home hosting Central Catholic on Monday, Feb. 13.
The Lady Eagles (21-3, 2-0), ranked third in Ken Ramsey’s unofficial power ratings, face a CC team (18-2, 2-0) that is ranked second.
Central features talented players such as 5-foot-10-inch Randi Brown and 5-foot-8-inch Meo Knight, both of whom average 20 points per game.
CC also has a new point guard, in Maklyla McDaniel, that averages 10 points and seven assists per game.
VC is riding a five-game winning streak. Its last loss came on Dec. 29 against Abbeville. Since then, the Lady Eagles have outscored their opponents 305-149.
CC’s girls, who last lost to 4A’s top-ranked St. Thomas More on January 10, are on a three-game winning streak in which they have out-scored opponents 229-94.
Guidry said the importance of the game is tempered by the fact that, in all likelihood, both teams will make the playoffs.
“The biggest thing would be to separate ourselves from them and get them on the other side of the playoff bracket,” she said. “That way, we don’t see them in the playoffs until a possible championship game.”
The VC boys may be facing an even more daunting task traveling to face Central Catholic (17-3, 3-0), as they will lock horns with the number one ranked team in Ken Ramsey’s ratings for 1A.
VC (10-10, 3-0) ranks 24th, meaning the Eagles do not quite have the luxury, as the Lady Eagles do, of having assured themselves a spot in the playoffs. A win, however, would put them in first place in District 8-1A.
Still, Eagles head coach Sean Comeaux said his team is in a good position.
“We’ve got a different game plan we’ve put together for (Central Catholic)” said Comeaux. “It’s just going to be a matter of going in there and doing the things that we’ve worked on.”
Comeaux said he feels his team is meeting up with Central Catholic at just the right time.
“We’re on a six-game winning streak,” said Comeaux. “We’ve been playing really well. So, I think we’ll be better off than if we’d played them earlier (in the season).”
The Eagles last loss came on the road at Northside Christian on January 3.
Central Catholic, however, is also hot right now. CC has won its last five-straight games, with its last loss coming to 4A A.J. Ellender on January 6.
Comeaux said the Eagles will “outsize” Central Catholic, but the home team’s speed and vertical leaping ability will equalize VC’s size advantage.
Still, with most of his starters having played in the football playoffs this season, Comeaux said he expects the Eagles to be in top form.
“I think they learned a lot from (the football playoffs),” he said. “But I don’t think they’ll have forgotten what happened at the end of the year (VC went to Morgan City and beat CC 62-29),” he said. “They’ll be out for blood.
“There is absolutely no love lost between these two teams.”