Community North Central High School Sports

A Basketball Dynasty Arrives At North Central

Photograph: Submitted Photo by LaVonya Malveaux

Editor/Consulting Writer

It wouldn’t be improper to describe the North Central boys’ basketball program as a developing statewide dynasty, says Hurricanes’ head coach Basil Brown II.

In fact, it would also be correct concedes Brown, to conclude that the Hurricanes have already arrived at that destination.

After all Brown points out that the North Central boys have won a state championship four of the last five seasons.

Brown has been part of two of those last titles after winning the captured the last one Friday in Lake Charles against Franklin High, 59-55.

“It wouldn’t be wrong at all to say that our program has developed into a dynasty. I feel that’s dynasty is really a good term because (North Central) beaten some of the best teams in the state and we should continue to be active, since we have a good class of eighth and ninth graders,” Brown said during an interview on Saturday.

Celebrating on the Burton Coliseum floor again on Friday probably means a little bit more for the Hurricanes who started the season precariously with various forms of adversity.

The ‘Canes were three games shy of .500 after their first 11 games, but finished the season 25-11, winning the last six.

North Central began playing better in January by winning a district title and then maneuvered through a difficult postseason schedule which included four teams with larger enrollments, Brown noted.

“I felt that this year in the playoffs, our program really proved something, since it seemed the deck against us was stacked. Yet, we still found a way to win it and stay on top,” Brown said.

North Central was seeded No. 4 in Division IV non-select and once they began running the postseason courts, the ‘Canes had to defeat Ferriday, Oakdale, top-seeded East Feliciana and second-seeded Franklin.

“You look at all four of those teams and they are considered Class 2A schools. The other championships that North Central has won (in boys basketball), we were a Class 1A program playing good basketball schools in our classification. I think that is something that has to be said,” Brown added.

Brown, who played collegiately at Texas State and is originally from the Dallas, TX area, said he doesn’t any reason in leaving North Central for a position somewhere else.

“I plan on staying at North Central. Although I am not from the area, I am not leaving. The people from the North Central community have treated me well and the fans and supporters from the school have accepted me as one of their own,” said Brown.

Brown said NCHS also had to win a championship without Bryon Smith, did not play in the Top 28 Tournament due to a knee he dislocated against Oakdale, said Brown.

Although it might have been more difficult winning a title as a fourth seed, Brown admits it really wasn’t surprising, considering the attitude that accompanies the program.

“Every year we (North Central) expect to win it. I guess you could say the kids who play here have that   championship DNA. The kids this year came in expecting to win a championship, so actually I’m not surprised,” Brown said.

Championship Game

Junior De’vion Lavergne was chosen as the championship game MVP after scoring 23 points and pulling down 11 rebounds against the Hornets.

Lavergne also contributed four assists and blocked a Franklin field goal attempt during the final seconds, while additionally sinking two critical free throws during that same time.

Mckennis Savoy added 17 points and nine rebounds for the ‘Canes.

Brown said the overall score was lower than he anticipated, but he felt that was due to a clever Franklin game plan which included a series of trapping defenses, which sagged a bit in order to keep the ball from going into Lavergne’s hands.

The game was tied at 55 with under a minute remaining. The Canes’ Tristan Brown scored the game’s final points.