Sam Houston played one of the toughest schedules in the state and was rewarded with the No. 1 seed in the Class 5A playoffs when the LHSAA released the brackets on Monday.
No. 1 Sam Houston (27-3) will host No. 32 L.W. Higgins (17-15) on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Sam Houston is looking to reach the state tournament for the time since 1991 when it lost to Donaldsonville in the Class 3A state championship game. Sam Houston lost 71-70 in the quarterfinals last season to Captain Shreve after battling back from a double-digit deficit.
“We play a tough schedule all year, so it is nothing that we are not used to,î Sam Houston head coach Jason Jagneaux said. ìHopefully we will make it there (Alexandria) and we will be ready.
ìOur schedule has really prepared us for the playoffs and so has our district. Sulphur is capable of making a run and LaGrange is definitely capable of making a run. It has definitely prepared us for what is to come and we are battled tested.î
Sam Houston played 20 of its 30 games against top-10 teams, going 17-3. Against fellow No. 1 seeds, Sam Houston went 2-1, beating Division II No. 1 Lee Magnet, Class C No. 1 Plainview and losing to Class 3A No. 1 Loranger.
Sulphur and Westlake will also host first round games.
The 15th-ranked Lady Tors (21-9) will get a rematch in the bi-district round when they host No. 18 Acadiana (20-13) on Thursday at 6 p.m. Sulphur beat Acadiana on the road 33-25 on January 28.
After back-to-back losses to Sam Houston and Division IV No. 1 Lafayette Christian, Sulphur has won six its last seven games thanks to a stifling defense that held opponents to an average of 27.7 points a game. Sulphur is 19-1 when holding opponents to under 37 points.
Sulphur is making its 14th consecutive playoff appearance after losing to eventual state champion East Ascension in the regional round last year.
Sulphur reached the state tournament since 2013.
Westlake lost five of its last eight games, all to top-10 teams, but still managed to hold on to the final first round home playoff game in Class 3A. No. 16 Westlake (16-9) will host No. 17 Eunice (16-11) on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Westlake missed the playoffs last year after going 8-26, but rebounded this year to go 16-9.