SMC, Morgan City begin AA state tourney play Thursday
By GEOFF STOUTE
St. Mary Central and Morgan City 8U All-Stars both will begin play in the four-bracket, 24-team Double AA State Tournament in Ville Platte Thursday.
St. Mary Central, the District 3 champion, will open play Thursday in its bracket against West Monroe South with a 5 p.m. contest, while Morgan City, the District 3 runner-up, will open play Thursday at 5 p.m. against Bossier City in another bracket.
While St. Mary Central will be returning to state for the second consecutive year after finishing 3-2 a year ago, the only one who has experience from that trip is head coach Scott Thomas, who was an assistant coach in 2012.
He said he has been telling his team what the experience was like as well as prepping them for what to expect.
“The team has worked really hard to prepare for the state tournament,” Thomas said. “The coaches and whole team realize that competition is going to be a bit fierce, but we’re ready.”
In Morgan City, coach Chase Pickens said his squad has improved “110 percent.”
“With regards to us being ready, I think we’re as ready as we’re going to be,” he said, adding the team looks good fielding and hitting and now just needs to put it all together in a ballgame.
After Thursday’s games, both teams will continue play Friday and Saturday.
Morgan City will continue bracket play Friday with three games, a 9 a.m. matchup against Tioga, a 12:45 p.m. contest against Rayville and a 4:30 p.m. contest against DeRidder.
On Saturday, the squad will face Mamou at 12:45 p.m.
St. Mary Central will continue its bracket play against Shreveport National on Friday at 9 a.m., Vernon American at 12:45 p.m. and North Sabine at 4:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the local squad will face Pineville American at 12:45 p.m.
Both teams will be competing in two of the four brackets.
Following individual bracket play Saturday, the top team from each bracket will face each other in a four-team, double elimination tournament beginning Saturday at 6 p.m. and continuing Sunday.
The way the brackets are set up in championship play, the St. Mary Central bracket winner will face the Morgan City bracket winner.