Casey Jones

The Wossman Wildcasts beat the Franklin Parish Patriots in Thursday action 3Jan2019 at the OPHS Lions Den, Monroe, La.

While the 2020-21 basketball season offers new wrinkles with COVID-19 restrictions, one thing remains the same on the local circuit — District 2-3A is shaping up to be one of the toughest districts in the state. 

In last week’s unofficial LHSAA power rankings, Wossman sat at the top at No. 1, Carroll followed at No. 5, Union represented at 13 and Richwood found itself at No. 15. Sterlington, at No. 28, is playoff eligible, which means District 2-3A teams could see familiar faces down the road this postseason.

But with Wossman having to replace 12 seniors, Wildcats head coach Casey Jones makes a case for Richwood or Carroll as the favorites in district play.

“Having to replace 12 seniors, that’s a lot of players to replace, don’t you think?” said Jones, pointing at the returnees Carroll and Richwood has. “Union is better than people think and Coach (Paul) Glynn has Sterlington playing extremely hard. It's another strong year for the district.”

Basketball fans in the area likely won’t buy what Jones is selling after Wossman has won a district title every season Jones has been there, dating back to the 2015-16 season.

The Wildcats, at 14-2, are off to a 2-0 start in district play. Wossman defeated Union, 60-44, before traveling to Sterlington and beating the Panthers, 82-50.

Devonte Austin led the Wildcats again in scoring with 17 points, while Kaleb Raven added 14 points in the win against Sterlington.

“We’ve been doing a great job offensively sharing the ball,” Jones said. “That’s one of the things I love about this group. They understand it’s about us, and we share the basketball. We move the ball to find the open person. This is one of my better shooting teams.”

As much success as the Wildcats have had this season offensively, Jones is still looking for his team to improve its post presence. And it’s developing nicely, according to Jones.

“Kaleb has some experience from last year, and Pat Williams Jr. is coming along. He’s getting more experience every game,” Jones said. “We’re getting better in that area.”

The Wildcats improved to 15-2 on the season Saturday with a 62-48 victory against Northside. Austin led the team with 26 points in the victory, while Raven contributed a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds) 

District play will ramp up when Wossman travels to Richwood Friday before the Wildcats host Carroll the following Tuesday. If Wossman and Carroll continue its winning ways, that contest on Jan. 26 would be a Top 5 matchup in Class 3A.

Award-winning sports writer for columns and features since joining the field in 2013. As the first-ever featured columnist of the month at Bleacher Report, Martin cut his teeth with online media before joining the newspaper business in 2014.

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