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BOBBY ARDOIN Editor/Consulting Writer

It’s been done by only one other St. Landry Parish basketball program – at least during the Modern Era.

However J.S. Clark Leadership Academy has a chance to duplicate that accomplishment Friday afternoon at Burton Coliseum in Lake Charles.

If the Bulldogs defeat the defending Division V select champion Avoyelles Public Charter following a noon tipoff, it will mark the first time since 2020 that girls and boys teams from the same parish school have captured a state basketball title.

JSLCA has played in the Top 28 Boys’ Tournament twice previously.

Several JSLCA boys team players have said that they are inspired to capture their own title now that the girls’ team won a Division V championship played in Hammond last Friday against Oak Hill.

Clark is 24-8 this year and like Avoyelles Public Charter, the second-seeded Bulldogs moved into the championship game on Monday after defeating No. 3 Episcopal of Acadiana 62-43.

It was the third time that the Bulldogs defeated ESA (25-10) this season.

Meanwhile top-seeded APCS (26-12) defeated Rapides High 58-46 in the other Division V select boys semifinal. That victory was the third by the Vikings over No. 4 Rapides during 2023-24.

APCS and Clark have played once this season. The Vikings defeated JSCLA 50-42 in a tournament game played Nov. 7 and defeated Clark in the Division V select semifinal game last year at Burton Coliseum.

Looking At Each Team

Clark has displayed momentum since the beginning of 2024.

The Bulldogs are 10-1 since Jan. 19. St. Louis-Lake Charles defeated Clark 48-37 on Feb. 16.

Clark features a projected starting lineup that consists of LeDamian George, Lawrence Pickney, Eric Ned and Ashton Joubert.

APCS junior Jalen Brown is the leading scorer for the Vikings with a 21.3 points-per-game. The 5-foot-9 junior also leads the team in steals and assists. Brown scored 22 in the championship game win over Family Christian last year.

Armonii Benjamin, a 6-1 senior, is the other main scoring threat for the Vikings, while forward Ronnie Day leads APCS in rebounds with 6.1 per game.